While 2020 has been a year of uncertainty for high school sports, there is one “for sure” event for athletes and fans to look forward to next year in Bay Village. Work on a $1.55 million multipurpose facility has already begun at the Bay Memorial Stadium. The project was unanimously approved during a school board meeting on Aug. 24.
The project is funded by Home of the Rockets, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the district.
“The one thing that’s severely lacking at the field is indoor space. When severe weather comes in during a track meet or a game, athletes have to take refuge in the high school. There’s a lot of value in building this facility,” said Chairman Jon Ransom. The campaign, called One Rocket Nation, has raised $1.48 million for the project. Ransom hopes to raise the last $62,000 by the end of October.
Engineers at Architectural Vision Group LLC in Westlake started surveying the land and testing the soil to make sure it’s stable. The company is also working on blueprints and floor layouts for the proposed 4,000- to 5,000-square-foot brick building. Once that is completed, bids will be placed and construction is expected to start by the end of November.
While the project will improve amenities for the athletes, it will also help visitors by centralizing the concession stand and restrooms. Now, spectators must go to one part of the stadium to use the restroom and another to get food.
The structure will be built at the south end of the stadium. Along with locker rooms, the facility will include a spirit shop and an area for trainers to work on athletes. The project also includes a new entrance gate and courtyard, said district Treasurer Nicole Spriggs.
The building will go between the stadium’s pavilion and maintenance building. Fencing in the area will be removed to accommodate the addition
The organization began raising money for the project in 2017. However, issues with the complex’s drainage system put the project on hold. The current campaign began last October, said district Athletic Director Matt Spellman.
There have been 500 donors to the campaign. Donations include $25,000 from both the Kiwanis Club and the Bay Soccer Association. The Bay Rockets Association donated $150,000, and the school district contributed $400,000. The rest was raised by community members.
"It says so much about the community that this project is 75% community funded,” Spriggs said. “We are so fortunate that we have the community coming together to make this happen."
This project follows a wide array of renovations that the school has done for the sports complex, including new bleachers built in 2015 and turf installed in 2018. The last time a building was erected in the stadium was in 1972, Ransom said.
“I think it’s long overdue to have a building with proper concession stands, restrooms and team rooms in the stadium,” he said.
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