City schools set to break ground on stadium
Published 11:29 am Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Today marks a major milestone for the Elizabethton City School system with the groundbreaking for the Citizens Bank Stadium at Elizabethton High School.
The groundbreaking ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. on the EHS campus at the basketball court. The event is open to the public.
“This is a big day,” Assistant Superintendent Richard VanHuss said. “It is kind of surreal that we have reached this point. There are just moments that it sinks in that this is actually happening. There has been a lot of blood, sweat and tears from many people to get here.”
After eight years of planning, the system can now move forward with construction on the new stadium with 3,819 seats and a lighted, regulation-size artificial turf field with underground drainage system.
The stadium will have free-standing concession stands, restrooms and ticket booths. The complex will be built at EHS adjacent to the existing parking lot along W Elk Avenue.
During the ceremony, Superintendent Ed Alexander will briefly speak and will recognize the different donors who have contributed to the stadium project, including the Citizens Bank Foundation which gave $500,000 toward the new facility.
“This will be a positive thing for the community and the school system,” VanHuss said. “We are excited to get some dirt moved on this.”
Once that dirt is moved, VanHuss expects it will be around two weeks before construction starts on site at the high school.
He said the goal is to have the new stadium completed in time for the 2015 football season.
“We are optimistic we can be in there before the first football game,” he said. “It does all depend on the weather and if we have a mild winter. We do have a small window of eight to nine months to work in.”
The school system is also working on moving forward with plans for the new music and band room addition with classroom renovations at EHS. VanHuss said the plans were scheduled to be presented to the Elizabethton Regional Planning Commission in the January meeting.
After those plans are approved, the school board will set an “amount not to exceed” budget for the project and a groundbreaking ceremony will be scheduled for it then.