Raising funds for stadium upgrades

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By Christine Bryant
Staff Writer

A group of Grove City leaders are raising funds to replace the high school’s current grass athletic field with turf – meeting the needs of a growing community and allowing the school to host more events.

The installation of a synthetic turf field at Grove City High School would provide a first-class, multi-purpose facility for student athletes, sports teams, the marching band and the entire community, members of the Stadium Improvement Committee say.

The committee, comprised of volunteer civic and business leaders, alumni, parents and community members, meets weekly and is seeking sponsors and gifts to meet the fundraising goal of $750,000.

“Public funding is not available and so the success of the turf project will depend entirely on the generous donations from corporations, local businesses, alumni and individuals in the community,” said Don Breckenridge, a local attorney and co-chair of the Stadium Improvement Committee, in a news release.

While donations have begun to come in to help fund the project, the group is planning several events to help meet its goal, including a community fundraiser, Sunday, May 17 at Plank’s on Broadway, 4022 Broadway, Grove City. From 3 to 8 p.m., guests can enjoy all-you-can-eat pizza donated by Plank’s and soda, as well as door prizes and a 50/50 raffle. Cost is $10 for adults and $6 for children 12 and younger.

Other upcoming fundraisers include a car show this summer and an alumni challenge, said Barb Edwards, an Improvement Committee member, life-long Grove City resident and alumnae.

The need for a multi-purpose athletic field at the high school is great, she said. Sports events, band competitions and practices, physical education classes and community events can be held on the new turf – with no downtime on the field required between events to allow the field to recover.

In fact, she said, the new synthetic turf would allow 3,000 hours of usage each year with no “rest” required.

“This is more than three times that of a grass field, and turf will save up to 1 million gallons of water yearly,” Edwards said.

Installing turf on the stadium field also greatly increases playing and practice time because it can be used in all types of weather without worry of damage, said Tom Rutan, former Grove City High School principal and co-chair of the project.

“It will allow Grove City High School to host OHSAA playoff games and State OMEA contest,” he said. “The community benefits are endless. An improved stadium will allow for hosting annual events such as the Autism Foundation Clinic, Working Dog Trials and the GCKA Championship Day.”

Installation of the new field is dependent upon when fundraising goals are met.

For more information on the project or how to become a donor, go to http://gchsgreyhounds.com and click on the “Turf” tab, or contact Edwards at bcarr_edwards@yahoo.com.

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