Officials from Buckeye Valley Local Schools gathered Wednesday afternoon to break ground on a project aimed at improving facilities around the high school, including the installation of field turf inside the stadium.
The Buckeye Valley Board of Education approved the $4.5 million project, which will be funded through a 10-year lease-purchase agreement through First Commonwealth Bank, back in April.
Superintendent Andy Miller said the project will replace the current field with high quality field turf, replace the track, build a band room addition to accommodate the program, build adequate outdoor restroom facilities, rebuild the concession stand, and replace and relocate the tennis courts.
“We’re tired of going elsewhere to see great facilities,” said Director of Operations & Safety Jeremy Froehlich. “It’ll be nice to have our own facilities here.”
Miller said the district began planning the project in winter of 2019.
“(The district) wanted to create a downtown Buckeye Valley, a place where people can be proud to get together and bring their elementary kids,” Miller said. “(We) feel very fortunate to have met these expectations with the support of the board of education. It’s long overdue, and it’s going to be good for our students and community.”
Board of Education President Justin Osborn said one of the board’s priorities for the project was to make sure it was beneficial to as many students as possible.
“By replacing this field with a turf field, not only will our football teams have high quality facilities, but our soccer and lacrosse teams will be able to utilize this facility,” he said.
Osborn added the turf field will allow teams to play games at night and in the rain, adding that the current field becomes “a mud pit” with even a small amount of rain.
“(It’s a) nice package,” Osborn said, adding he’s thankful district administration was able to put the project together and make it affordable for the district.
Adam Hansberry, senior vice president at First Commonwealth Bank, said he’s excited for the bank to be part of the project.
“Our relationship with district dates back four decades,” Hansberry said. “(It’s) really special to be part of this big, long overdue project. Our mission is to improve the lives of our neighbors and their businesses, and this project here is the epitome of what we do. This is going to benefit the community and the students for years and years to come. Thank you guys for allowing us to be part of it.”
The tentative completion date is fall 2021 for the field and January 2022 for the band room.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.