Pine River breaks ground for new concession stand
LEROY — Major construction is taking place this summer at the Pine River sports complex.
The groundbreaking for a new concession stand/restrooms facility between the football and baseball fields was last Thursday and it’s expected to be completed prior to the start of the fall sports season.
Chad Phillips, a former Pine River football coach, is a member of a group that started about five years ago called Buck Pride.
“We’re separate from the (sports) boosters and we created a nonprofit 501(c)3 group,” Phillips said. “All we do is raise money for athletic facilities, where the boosters might raise for uniforms and things like that. We focus on the athletic facilities. They run the concession stand, that’s how they make their money. We do different type of events.”
Those events include a golf tournament conducted earlier this month, plus bowling and 3-on-3 tournaments.
“We started in the spring of 2010,” Phillips said. “I approached some parents and coaches for anyone interested in tackling the problems of athletic facilities being in poor shape. We had a few parents, coaches and formed a group. We had eight core members, and now have 10 and others who volunteer as well.”
They decided to pursue, as a first major project, a new concession stand/restrooms facility to replace the current one that’s located below the pressbox.
“Our old concession stand is small and our bathroom facilities are inadequate,” Phillips said. “We felt like we could get a lot of people on board because that would affect the most number of sports. We picked a plan that’s modeled after Morley Stanwood’s because you can utilize one side for football and track seasons and the other side for baseball and softball and either side for cross country. We also thought we’d get the boosters on board.
“Along the way, we identified our next project, which will hopefully be a wrestling room, and we’ve given away (money) for smaller projects like cheer mats, rims for basketball, drywall for pressbox for soccer, money to repair the visitors dugout for baseball and improve the turf on the football field.”
The area where the school starts its cross country meets is likely to be changed because of the location of the new concession stand.
The facility will be finished at a cost of $165,000, Phillips said.
“A parent of a former student donated $80,000,” he commented. “Our booster club donated $20,000. The other $65,000 we raised through different fundraisers. We’re still looking for donors. There’s a form on buckpride.com. We’re wrapping up fundraising and trying to find donors.
“We’d like to be done Aug. 7 when kids start coming back for sports. We’ll definitely be open by the first football game.”
There will be a dedication ceremony at the first home football game.
Willy Holmes, a former Pine River school principal, was on hand for the ground breaking.
“It’s exciting. Everything will be able to use it,” he said. “Twenty-five years ago, we had one of the best facilities. We’ve been slowly outgrown by everybody. Now we’re getting back to this.”