When visitors enter Cornell Stadium on Aug. 30 for the first football game of the season, they’ll pass some new landscaping done by local Life Scout Calvin Riggs.
Riggs, an eighth grader at Dempsey Middle School, said he did the project because he wanted to help the athletic department and had to come up with a project to become an Eagle Scout. He was recognized for his work by the Delaware City Schools Board of Education during its meeting Monday.
Riggs said at the start of his project, he emailed around the district asking if anyone had any ideas of projects he could help with. Hayes High School Principal Dr. Richard Stranges and Steve Glesenkamp, the athletic director at Hayes, suggested the stadium’s visitor’s entrance.
“The visitor’s entrance at (Cornell Stadium) was kind of dated and had overgrown trees,” Riggs said. “So, what we did was get professional help taking out trees, and we made an actual edge in the flowerbeds, put down ground cloth, mulched it, and planted boxwoods.”
Riggs said the district paid for the project and gave him all the help he could ask for.
“I feel very accomplished,” Riggs said. “We’d been working for a month. One of our work days was on the hottest day of the year — 96 degrees.”
Glesenkamp presented Riggs to the board Monday, adding the new look for the entrance is “a real upgrade.”
“The project really looks great,” Glesenkamp said. “(It’s) something that we needed to do. I wanted to recognize Calvin here and say congratulations, and say thank you.”
Stranges said he gets requests from prospective Eagle Scouts every year asking what they can do to help the school.
“It’s incredible that our young people achieve Eagle Scout status,” Stranges said. “They totally (do projects) on their own, and we reap the benefits. For us, we look forward to continued association with the Scouts. I’m impressed by the number of scouts and quality of their work.”
Stranges said Riggs did a great job, and he’s looking forward to seeing him at Hayes as a freshman next year.
“It allows us to meet students before (they move to Hayes),” Stranges said. “(Riggs) will come here knowing he’s already made an impact.”
Riggs’ mother, Juliana, said she was really proud of her son and his work on the project.
“I’m proud of him for really doing it,” Juliana Riggs said. “It took a lot of perseverance to keep going and keep in contact with Mr. Glesenkamp and everybody involved with making it happen. I wasn’t sure he would stick with it to the end, so I was proud of him for doing that. Now he sees that he can stick with the project and accomplish something and lead something.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.