Construction Date On New Field Announced

By: 
JAKE DOWLING
Sports Editor

The Roughrider Philanthropic Association (RPA), through the St. Marys Memorial High School athletic website, announced on Monday the date of when construction will start at the athletic complex next to Memorial High School.

According to the statement, construction of new concession stands, restrooms, tickets gates and parking lots is scheduled to begin next Monday and LED lights and a 4,500 capacity home and away custom bleacher design are scheduled to be installed mid to late August. 

"The project is moving forward: plans are completed, schedules are in place and materials are ordered," the statement read.

However, as stated by RPA Secretary Treasurer Dan Burke during the closing of a $2 million loan from Superior Federal Credit Union and Minster Bank on June 13, the new athletic complex will not be done in time for the St. Marys Roughriders football team's Aug. 24 season opener against Sidney. 

"After much discussion and consultation with the St. Marys City Schools and Bruns Construction, it is obvious to us that we cannot 'do it right' by rushing construction to try to finish in time for the first football game this year," the statement said. 

According to the statement, the athletic complex should be completed by the end of 2018, in time for the track season — which St. Marys is slated to host a tri-meet with Bath and Minster as well as hosting the Western Buckeye League Track and Field Championship.

The spring sports season begins in the final week of March, with the WBL track championship slated for the second week of May.

"We remain with our 'foot on the gas' for fundraising and will continue to seek pledges and donations until we blow past our $3 million goal and beyond," the statement read.

The RPA — a non-profit organization raising money for the new football stadium at St. Marys Memorial High School — officially closed on their $2 million loan from both Superior Credit Union and Minster Bank on June 13 — which allows the RPA to have the money to finally begin construction of the new stadium.

The RPA has a little more than $2 million through more than 200 gifts, donations and pledges in hand as it gears toward the $3 million goal, but it needed a financial loan from a bank or two to begin construction and eventually pay that loan down over time.

The athletic complex — which will be named MHS Alumni Field when completed — will house the Roughriders football team for home games, away from their current home at Skip Baughman Stadium on South Street — the home of the Roughriders since at least 1923.

Other sports will be able to use the stadium aside from football, including hosting the Ohio High School Athletic Association soccer playoffs in possibly both boys and girls, St. Marys track and field, possible site for football playoffs, an area for marching band practice and other extracurricular activities. 

"This will be a big year as it will be the Farewell Season to Skip Baughman Stadium," the statement said. "Ticket renewal information for the 2018 season will be mailed out this week. It will also include ticket information for the 2019 inaugural football season at Alumni Field."