By Kaylyn Christopher
Times West Virginian
East-West Stadium has been a centerpiece of the community over the years, serving as a place for athletes, students and residents to compete, spectate and make memories.
Built in 1938, the stadium has required a multitude of upgrades in order to keep up with its age. Over the past two years, through the efforts of the East-West Stadium Renovation Committee, local businesses, the community and the Marion County Board of Education, the facility has benefited from a new scoreboard, new lights, the installation of handrails, an upgraded press box and remodeled bathrooms.
Throughout the extensive renovations, Marion County Superintendent of Schools Gary Price said another goal has been kept in mind.
“We wanted to renovate it with an eye toward keeping it as close as possible to what it looked like when the stadium first opened,” he said.
Now the renovation committee is focusing its efforts on the next stage of the project.
“The concrete has got to be preserved and the seats need to be replaced,” committee member Nancy Bickerstaff said.
In order to make these improvements, the renovation committee is holding a “Race to the Finish Line” fundraiser. Restoring the stands and the bleachers will cost $40,000 per section and there are 10 sections total.
Bickerstaff said she hopes businesses and community members will contribute to this phase of the project. Monetary gifts of $100 or more will be recognized on a plaque displayed in the stadium, but any donations will be accepted.
According to Price, a structural engineer evaluated the structure and determined that it was structurally sound and worth the repairs. Currently, cracks in the concrete allow water to seep in where it repeatedly freezes and thaws, creating more damage.