Sheridan rebuilds Paul Culver Jr. Stadium
THORNVILLE – Northern Local School District’s new Paul Culver, Jr. stadium isn’t just a place for sporting events; it’s an investment in the district’s students, said Treasurer Liz Arnold. “The tradition Paul has built will be here forever,” she said of Sheridan’s football coach.
The district’s former bleachers were 50 years old and condemned, although an inspector gave the district a waiver to use the old bleachers through last year. However, creative financing and generous community donations of money and skilled labor allowed the district to replace the ailing bleachers with a $1.2 million stadium that was open for this year’s first home football game. “This (stadium) will be good for everybody’s grandkids,” said Arnold.
According to a news release, The Northern Local School District Board of Education, with assistance from Ross, Sinclaire & Associates, LLC – an Ohio headquartered investment banking firm and full service brokerage-– sold $2,000,000 in Permanent Improvement Tax Anticipation Notes for the district to take full advantage of the current favorable tax-exempt bond market. The true interest cost of this borrowing was only 2.7 percent for 10 years. The proceeds from the sale of the notes will be used to fund stadium and other improvements to the district. Arnold said the “other improvements” include purchasing buses and books.
The new stadium’s total capacity is 3,500 spectators, including 1,750 home seating capacity, 754 visitor capacity, and the new student area, or “Rage Cage,” created from recycled material, holds 1,000 spectators. The stadium also features a new concession stand, additional restrooms, and a bright red press box looming over a new field complete with Astroturf. It should be open by the Generals’ first home game this season. Arnold said the turf was made possible mainly through donated money and labor. She credits Superintendent Thomas Perkins with negotiating “an incredible deal” on the turf.
Sheridan was sorely in need of a new field, and Arnold said “all the pieces came together” to create the new field. She said Perry County Engineer Kent Cannon and his staff, and local farmers “really helped” by donating the use of machinery to haul quarry stone and other materials. Anonymous donors, residents Dan and Nancy Fox, Dave Whetstone, and others made generous donations.
Perkins determined in April that the district had enough volunteers and donations to do more that just replace bleachers. “So far, it’s been an extremely smooth process,” he said. Perkins said of the $1.2 million necessary to build the new stadium, the district received nearly half of that, or $500,000, in donated money and labor. When asked how long Perkins expects the new stadium to last, he said, “The plan is forever.”