VAN WERT — The long simmering issue on what to do with the continued deterioration of Eggerss Stadium in Van Wert is one step closer to being decided.
Thursday night the Van Wert Board of Education heard the results of an internet survey of area residents on how they feel about three options for the football stadium, built originally as a WPA project. The first game played there was in 1936.
When all of the results were tallied, people overwhelmingly wanted to see the stadium restored rather than rebuilt or moved to the current high school grounds on state route 118 south of Van Wert.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect,” said Pat Jackson, one of the stadium committee members who were tasked with exploring options.
“There’s always isolated groups that are very vocal in their opinions and so I felt like there were groups on both sides of it. You hear people say we need it out at the school where everything exists and have one complex and then there was also the other group saying keep it where it is. I was surprised with the clarity with which it came back at nearly 72 percent, which from a committee perspective, that made it really easy for us, because clearly the 2,000 voters spoke loud and clear where they wanted it,” Jackson said.
Of the three possible options, the renovate option was estimated at $5,456,498.
The estimated cost to tear down and rebuild at the current location would be $5,900,848.
If they want to build at the current high school, the cost was $4,723,488.
The stadium committee recommended the stadium be renovated and the school board will be forming a task force to look at how to make that happen.
“Our role was simply to research and provide them with a recommendation and so now giving them the recommendation. They’ve got a good starting point. They’ve got some credible numbers with which to begin but now it’s up to them to decide what do they want to do — how much of that do they want to do, because we didn’t cut corners. We made it state of the art with the (artificial) turf and to make it really nice. Who knows what they’ll do with that but they’ve got to put together because they’ve got to figure out how they can fund it and how they can get it financed,” he said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.