MOUNT VERNON — For a large school where sports has been the center of tradition for many years, no one can deny that Mount Vernon High School is in need of a bit of a facelift.
The process is now underway, thanks to a generous gift by the Mount Vernon Boosters at Monday’s school board meeting.
The boosters presented Mount Vernon City Schools with a check for $75,000 to begin some much-needed work on the football stadium and the high school gymnasium.
Much of the work will focus on Yellow Jacket Stadium. The school is looking to replace the current grass field with FieldTurf, an artificial turf made popular in recent years by its widespread use in the NFL and NCAA. The track, which has been in place for years and has seen a number of recent repairs, will also be replaced.
“With an average of 4 1/2 games a week on that field, you need to have (FieldTurf),” said Mount Vernon activities director Mark Shively. “That grass can’t withstand the abuse it’s getting. For the track, we’ve seen repairs that have band-aided it. But it needs replaced as well. It can’t withstand the use it takes on an annual basis.”
Mount Vernon Athletic Boosters president Tim Workman would also like to see the bleachers at The Hive replaced, as well as a new basketball court.
“The bleachers are probably 40-plus years old,” said Workman. “The floor is pretty old and not as nice as it once was. If you look at it, it’s not really orange anymore.”
The total amount of the renovations will run about $900,000 to $1.1 million. Shively said there are three preliminary bids for the entire project. There is currently no set timetable for getting the changes made, though everyone involved would like to see the project get started within the next two years.
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