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Walkersville High School is building a new stadium...Will you come?
By: Cindy McKane-Wagester

 

 Lion’s Stadium is looking for MVPs!     
 
Most Valuable Patrons (MVPs)—concerned neighbors, families, alumni, fans, civic and business leaders, community-involved corporations—who really can ‘save the day’ by helping to sponsor Walkersville High School’s much-needed transformation of Lion’s Stadium into a new, true ‘field of glory.’ With your tax-deductible donations and sponsorship, our community can raise the $3.6 million needed to turn dreams into game-day reality.
 
The comprehensive renovation project will provide more than a premier, multi-purpose athletic complex for our students, more than a town-wide resource for recreational needs and regional events. More than a sporting ground where life’s values— respect, teamwork, integrity, sportsmanship, and leadership— get learned firsthand. It’s also “our house.” And together—one MVP pledge at a time— we can send a clear, powerful statement of support to our youth, our school, and our town that “Lion’s Pride” means “Walkersville Pride” too.
 


 

    Please help Walkersville High build a new, true ‘field of glory.’
 


 

Lion’s Stadium Is Vital
Currently, the stadium plays very busy home to football, track, soccer, lacrosse, cross-country, cheerleading, and the marching band. Increase that usage by figuring in freshman, junior varsity, and varsity teams, and further yet with boys and girls teams of some sports. Add playoff competitions for each of those sports. And don’t forget pep rallies, graduation pictures, “Powder Puff” games, “Battle of The Bands” competitions, and, previously, host to the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life. Summed all together, Lion’s Stadium is a vital part of school, and community, life. Just ask the tens of thousands of athletes, fans, and visitors who annually patronize the stadium.
 
Why A New Stadium
The good news: since Lion’s Stadium first opened its gates back in 1976, our student population has more than doubled, and athletic participation has grown five times! The not-as-good news: Walkersville’s proud symbol of athletic excellence is showing its outdated age of 32 years. The extensive repairs and critical upgrades required are real and visible—and, unfortunately, not funded by the Frederick County Board of Education.
 
Among the existing limitations and mounting problems are: 1) Bleacher seating is not fully up to current code for safety, which deters some fans. Also handicap accessibility and seating areas (ADA requirements) are not available. 2) Overall seating capacity is undersized. 3) The field, being grass, easily wears and damages, which limits and prohibits use during reseeding and rain. Access to outside groups is denied during Fall and Spring seasons due to risk of further damage. Grass turf also comes with high annual maintenance costs (mowing, watering, seeding, fertilizing, lining). 4) The press box and scoreboard are outdated. 5) Insufficient capacity of restroom facilities. 6) There is no Field House, which means no team accommodations. Teams needing locker facilities or private bathrooms must walk out of the stadium and up to the school.Additionally, pre-game and halftime meetings must be held outdoors in the middle of concurring stadium activity.
The Vision
The vision—realistic, functional—is for a multi-use facility that offers students, athletes, fans, and the community a safe, comfortable, modern venue that is available for extended year-round sports and regional events, and a game-day experience at Lion’s Stadium like none before. The $3.6 million goal of our capital campaign will be used to fund:
l      New grandstand seating that significantly improves safety and comfort, enhances access and circulation throughout the stands, provides both handicap accessibility and seating
l      New playing field with durable, all-weather synthetic turf that reduces activity downtime by offering unlimited seasonal usability for school and community activities, while appreciably reducing annual maintenance costs
l      Expanded seating capacity to accommodate 2,500 patrons
l      Our first Field House, with team facilities (meeting/dressing rooms, restrooms, storage)
l      A new stadium entrance through the Field House to ignite each game-day experience
l      More and updated restroom facilities
l      Modernized press box and scoreboard, complete with a public message system
l      Expanded concession services
 
The Benefits Are Many
Revitalizing Lion’s Stadium would reward Walkersville far beyond the practical, long-lasting benefit of restoring functional excellence to a vital facility that has faded with steady decline. Our students would have a better, safer, more weather-resistant venue for sports and school events. That, in turn, can entice greater participation in school programs. Better school programs make better schools, and better schools make better communities.
 
Lion’s Stadium is “our house”: Walkersville’s rallying source of hometown pride and spirit. The place where our youth can—literally—feel and hear and see the support of their community roaring in the grandstands, an exciting place where that sense of community traditionally unites every game-day. Revitalizing such a special place can only have a positive impact on our town.
 
Walkersville also would gain a renewed resource for hosting regional activities. Not only would a premier facility likely encourage greater attendance of patrons at events (boosting school revenue from ticket sales and concessions), but also far greater appeal for area organizations to hold their events here, and, in turn, greater potential for additional local revenue.
 
Importantly, we—sincerely—believe that participation in sports provides our youth with far more than the measurable benefits of physical exercise. Sports drive greater academic excellence for some. But the stadium is a classroom for all student-athletes, where hands-on lessons in character building get taught daily. That education about life’s values— respect, responsibility, integrity, teamwork, sportsmanship, and leadership— leaves the playing field and develops better citizens. In other words, this becomes a worthy investment in our youth, in our community, and in our future.
 
“We want to create a place where memories can be shared by athletes, students, fans, and the community. Memories that will be cherished forever.  We want to give our kids an athletic complex that will be remembered, not because of poor conditions but, for the celebration of victory on a field of glory.“ Phil Shortt (President, WHS Athletic Boosters)
 
The bottom line: Walkersville High School’s ‘Field of Glory’ lies in our hands. YOU truly can ‘save the day’ by becoming a Walkersville MVP. Are you an MVP?
 


 

MVPs can contact:
WHS Athletic Boosters
Stadium Renovation Project
443-604-7438
For more information, please visit us at http://www.whsstadium.com
 
 

 



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Walkersville High School is building a new stadium...Will you come?
By: Cindy McKane-Wagester
   
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