MASON — Improvements to Bachtel Stadium at Wahama High School may not happen all at once, but they are indeed happening.
The biggest improvement to the stadium will be the bleacher project. At the end of last football season, a structural engineer declared the largest section of bleachers (the middle section) as being structurally unsound and were therefore torn down. Though only one section of bleachers is being replaced, it won’t be cheap and though the engineering hasn’t been completed yet, the project, which includes ground work and pouring a new concrete pad, could cost as much as $140-150,000 - this is subject to change.
In February, Ohio Valley Bank donated $50,000 to the cause and WHS Principal Kenny Bond said the school has applied for an Parkersburg Area Community Foundation Grant for $20,000, and has received a state grant obtained with the help of former State Sen. Karen Facemyer for between $35-40,000. Bond said other donations from organizations and individuals from the community have also been made and fund raising continues to help complete the project.
Bond said he’s confident the concrete will be poured and new bleachers will be in place by August. Bond also added the maintenance department with Mason County Schools had already completed lighting improvements to the stadium.
Though it won’t happen this football season, next football season the White Falcons may also have an improved surface to play on. Bond said school officials have been in contact with the groundskeepers for both the Denver Broncos and Virginia Tech Hokies for guidance on how to improve their grass field. Officials have been taking soil samples and sending them off to Virginia and Colorado for tips on what type of grass to plant, when to plant it and how to get it to grow for a more attractive field. Though it’s too late in the growing season to begin this project now, Bond said next year it will definitely be on the “to do” list.
Bond said there are many other items on his wish list for WHS which will improve the experience for students and fans.
“We have a state championship baseball, football and track team,” he said. “There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to provide a first class experience (for players and fans).”