Stadium Fund Gets Big Boost
Foundation, trust, 2 banks, Landoll pledge $62,500
A $250,000 fundraising campaign to restore Homer Hanson Stadium got a large boost Tuesday morning from key contributors.
United Bank & Trust CEO Leonard Wolfe and Citizens State Bank president Lynn Mayer presented a combined pledge of $25,000.
Then the stadium restoration committee received an additional $37,500 in pledges, or $12,500 matches, from Landoll Corporation president Don Landoll and from the Guise-Weber Foundation and R.L. and Elsa Helvering Trust. The foundation and trust were represented by Ed Wiegers, who is president of the foundation and trustee of the trust.
All pledges now total $97,400 to be targeted for structure repair of the 76-year-old limestone stadium.
“We know the work cannot be done without your help,” said committee chairman Bert Lord, who organized the fundraising group in the summer. “These four contributors have done a lot for our school over the years.”
“It doesn’t go unnoticed by the people who visit our school and ask how we are able to have as much as we have,” said Marysville school district Superintendent Khris Thexton.
Wiegers asked that the contributors see the final plans for the stadium when it is received.
“We realize this project needs to be done,” Mayer said. “I’ve spent a lot of time at the track, and I know the pride that there is in the stadium. I grew up here and took it (the stadium) for granted. When I talked to players from other league schools one of the first things mentioned is how neat it was to play in the stadium.”
“We believe this is a very good project,” Wolfe said. “The stadium’s reputation as part of Marysville’s history makes this a good long-term project. This donation is for the project only.”
The rate of deterioration of the limestone in the stadium, which was funded by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s and built into a hillside from local stone in 1935 and 1936, has been a concern of the fundraising group. Homer Hanson Stadium is one of 52 stadiums in the state built with WPA funds. Other WPA stadiums, like Fischer Field in Newton, Amelia Earhart in Atchison and Lewis Field in Hays, are other stadiums that have received funding for restorations.
“None of us wants to see the stadium come down,” Lord said. “We’ve been told that in five years the walls will have to come down (without restoration).”
Deterioration is noticeable at the entrances and throughout the stadium. Last fall the group selected Restoration and Waterproofing Contractors Inc., Kansas City, Kan., to make repairs to the stadium. Repairs will be to clean 7,400-square feet of limestone, repair stone mortar joints, replace mortar and missing stone, repair cracks in retaining walls, tuckpointing all stone, rebuild 2,200 square feet of veneer and caulk all caps. Stones will be sealed and drains will be installed to eliminate water pooling behind the walls from rains, melting snow and ice over the decades.
To help reach the proposed $250,000, the committee also talked with Christy Davis of Davis Preservation, Topeka, about applying for tax credits and a grant through the Kansas State Historical Society.
Davis said the stadium and school are eligible to be listed on the national and state registers of historic places. If the stadium and school are added to the registers, the stadium restoration group can apply for tax credits and heritage grant monies.
The committee asked Davis to submit a proposal for her consulting fees to help pursue tax credits and grants. The Heritage Trust Fund has a grant program that awards up to $75,000 for approved projects. The program is an 80-20 match. Tax credits can be sold up to 25 percent of the qualified expense of a project. Tax credits are applied to buildings, and Davis said stadiums are classified as buildings.
The committee sent mailings to Marysville High School alumni up to the class of 1972. More mailings will be sent to the classes following that class.
Another fundraiser mentioned was to see if Dierking Communications would run an on-air auction with proceeds going to the stadium.
Members of any class can follow the project at facebook.com/homerhansonstadium. A website went live recently at marysvillestadiumrestoration.org.
Donations need to be earmarked for the restoration project, which has its own fund. Donations should be sent to the Board of Education office, 211 S. 10th, Marysville, 66508.
Alumni who do not receive a letter asking for donations can contact Julie Haggard, firstname.lastname@example.org or 785-799-3586.
By Julie Perry
Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 11:42 AM CST
- by HomerHanson
- posted at 7:00 pm
- February 15, 2012