The Kaley Field construction project was scheduled to begin in the spring of 2020. Like many projects of the time, it was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At points, over the past year, it was unclear whether the project could be resurrected. But, due to the extreme generosity of several local businesses and members of their families, along with the original major donors of F&M Trust and Sunnyway Foods, the project is back on track to be completed in 2021.
Joining the original major donors, Antrim Insurance, Antrim Way Honda, the Weaver Family, and the Martin Family have all given or pledged $50,000 or more to the project. Many others have given or pledged; still others are providing In-Kind donations, bringing the total donations to $487,000 of the overall $600,000 projected cost.
The need for upgrades became clear over six years ago, when a sewer line issue could not be repaired, forcing the Kaley Field restroom facilities to close, and portable facilities to be used in as a temporary measure. This need led the GAEF and the school district to contemplate broader improvement needs for the Kaley Field complex.
In addition to restrooms improvements that will promote cleanliness, like feature touch-free faucets, hand-dryers, and toilets; construction will also include a central complex access point with improved ticket booth and concession stand upgrades.
This state-of-the-art, 3,000 sq. ft. facility was designed to maximize the utilization of space and ultimately cut down on the overall original construction costs. This is especially true for the new concession stand, where Johnnies Restaurant Supply is lending their expertise by recommending layout and equipment options to maximize service of concessions to patrons.
Eagle Construction, of Greencastle, was chosen as the general contractor for the project and will break ground sometime in April. If the weather cooperates over the next few months, it is expected that the building will be completed in time for the 2021 school year.
Due to COVID-restrictions, a small Groundbreaking Ceremony will be held with the key stakeholders only: the donors, the boards of directors of the GAEF and the GASD, and local dignitaries. Leaders of the GAEF are planning a much-larger community celebration, if COVID-restrictions are lifted, when it’s time to hold a ribbon cutting, when the building is complete and the keys are turned-over to the school district.
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