School board prepares for stadium opening

Published 9:30 pm Friday, June 12, 2015

Just a little more than two months remain until the opening kickoff is held at the new Citizens Bank Stadium at Elizabethton High School and school system leaders are confident the project will be completed on time.

Superintendent Corey Gardenhour gave the Board of Education an update on how the project is progressing during its meeting Thursday night.

“We are just 73 days from opening kickoff,” Gardenhour said. “I feel we will make it on schedule if the weather holds off like it has been. I cannot wait.”

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So far in the project, Gardenhour said most of the concrete work has been finished, and the turf has been signed off on and “is completely and utterly finished.”

“It feels good to have that accomplished,” he said.

Soon, he said the stadium’s new sign should be installed along with fencing around the field. The home grandstands are expected to be completed and roofs installed on the buildings at the complex. Also on the horizon is the start of construction on the visitor’s side grandstand.

The board unanimously approved the purchase of two walk-in coolers for the concessions area for the stadium FOR $28,864. Gardenhour said the purchase would be funded with donations and proceeds from memorial brick sales for the stadium. The main donor of the funding will not be revealed until the opening ceremonies for the stadium.

“This will really help out in the concessions because it will keep the drinks chilled and ready to serve,” Gardenhour said.

Gardenhour added the system had been receiving a lot of community support in donations for the stadium.

“The community is really excited about this,” he said.

A grand opening celebration is being planned that will feature “two days of fanfare” for the past when the games Brown-Childress Stadium and the future of the new stadium.

“There is a lot of planning that will need to go into that,” Gardenhour said.

The board approved the extending the community eligibility programs at the city’s elementary schools for free breakfast and lunch for all students. Gardenhour said a study would be done this year to see if adding the program at T.A. Dugger Junior High School would be feasible.

The board also approved a 5 cent lunch price increase at TAD, bringing the full price of lunch to $2.40. The price increased by 50 cents for adult staff, going to $3.50 cents.