Pineville Schools break ground for athletic field improvements

Published 11:03 am Monday, April 15, 2024

The Pineville Independent School Board held a ground-breaking ceremony on Friday as work has started on $3.29 million renovation of the football field and surrounding area.

Superintendent Russell Thompson was joined by school board members Kaki Smith, Brittany Lynch and Chassidy Gambrell along with architect Ben Boggs from Clotfelter-Samokar and officials from Gilpin Construction.

“We’ve got a great team and I’m very excited about working with Gilpin Construction again. (Architect) Ben Boggs and Clotfelter-Samokar have been great to work with so far. We’re really looking forward to getting this journey started,” Thompson said.

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Gambrell, speaking on behalf of the board said, “We are very, very excited.”

Demolition work had already started on the field and workers from Gilpin were started to take down the old bleachers Friday morning.

“I know it’s a little bit hard to see those bleachers coming down, but at the same time I’m glad we’re able to offer progress for our students,” Thompson said. “There is going to be change, we all need to be prepared for change, but in the long run this is going to be change for the better.”

The project includes moving the playing field slightly to the south and west so most of the sidelines around the field can be increased from four feet to eight feet wide. Filling in the old city pool, new LED lighting, new grandstands and a new press box, a 33-yard turf practice field, practice areas for the track and field team and paving the new parking lot on Virginia Avenue.

Thanks to a tax increase the board voted for last year and an increase in the state equalization funds, the district was able to sell bonds to finance the project and have over $4million remaining in bonding capacity for upcoming work to turn the old Presbyterian Church building into a Primary Center.

“I appreciate the board because they had to make some tough decisions and do some things in order to provide better opportunities for our students,” Thompson added. “This is where we get started with this ground-breaking ceremony. We appreciate everybody involved.”