With one new athletic facility opening its doors this month, Mechanicsburg Area School District Superintendent Mark Leidy said plans are in progress to kick off construction for a second project this spring.
Leidy told the school board Tuesday night that construction should begin in March for upgrades at Memorial Park Stadium, a project spearheaded by the Wildcat Foundation. In its October newsletter, the foundation reported that it raised “an excess of $1.6 million toward our $2.5 million capital fundraising goal.”
Leidy said plans include breaking ground for construction in March with a goal to complete the project by September 2020 in time for the fall sports season.
A new 120-foot-by-36-foot field house is planned at the stadium to include locker room space to accommodate two teams comprising up to 40 players each, an upgrade from current facilities that fit only two teams of 20 players each. New team rooms in the field house will include showers, restrooms, lockers, bench seating and a training room. Existing field memorials will be relocated to a natural walkway and a hall of fame is planned between the team rooms.
Plans also call for existing block structures to be repurposed as functional, modern support facilities. The current team rooms will be renovated into public restrooms and an official’s locker room with showers. A training room and storage space also is planned, according to the project’s website.
Also, the existing concession stand will be updated, scrubbed, painted and roofed.
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The district opened its Wildcat Activity Center last week, debuting an indoor athletic facility located behind the high school.
In September 2018, school board members approved contracts totaling $4,511,672 for the 15,000-square-foot building. Bad weather slowed construction to the point where the district missed the initial July completion date.
The design includes a main gymnasium, an auxiliary gym, additional sports locker rooms, equipment storage areas, a concession stand and a lobby with restrooms for outside events at the school.
The center will be used more as an athletic practice venue than as space for spectator sports, district business administrator Greg Longwell said. He added it gives the district additional space for curriculum during the school day, extracurricular activities and programs offered through the joint recreation department with local municipalities.