Richland Booster Club Announces $1.3 Million Field House Project
The Raider Nation Booster Club hopes to break ground this fall on a $1.3 million field house that would sit on the east side of Wayne Hobbs Stadium at Richland School. The privately funded project has already received pledges for approximately one third of the total cost. IMAGE COURTESY OF ACE, LLC SOLAR
by Mark Mize
A new $1.3 million multi-purpose field house could soon be gracing the landscape of Richland School as the plan for the privately funded project was officially announced last week by key stakeholders.
The ambitious project is an undertaking of the Raider Nation Booster Club, which has already received pledges toward approximately one third of the total cost and will not begin construction until the full amount has been secured as a safeguard for the school and county.
“We’ll have 100 percent before we break ground,” said Booster Club President Chris James. “We’re not going to put the school system at risk, and we’re not going to put ourselves at risk.”
The initial target date for ground breaking on the visitors’ side of Wayne Hobbs Stadium is set for October 2019 with the proposed grand opening projected for August 2020. While the expansive project would include all the amenities and rival some of the top football facilities in the state, booster club member Chuck Boggs emphasized that the project will serve much more than just the Raider football team.
“A multi-purpose community building is what we plan to build,” he said. “I think that’s huge. It’s not necessarily a football entity only type deal. Something that size can be used for graduation ceremonies, proms or community events. You can put a ton of stuff in there. It’s going to bring a great sense of pride not only for the football program and the school but for the community and the county.”
Boggs and his team at ACE, LLC SOLAR worked with Richland head football coach Nick Patterson on the designs for the project and what key features needed to be included to service the football team as well as the baseball, softball and soccer programs, which do not have restrooms or locker room facilities outside of the school. The plans include a 66-yard artificial turf field that will be regulation width. Weight rooms, locker rooms and restrooms will also be included in the multi-level facility that incorporates the natural slope on the northeast side of the school’s campus. The 35,000-plus square foot facility will also include VIP viewing rooms, broadcast booths, coaches’ offices and a roof top viewing area.
Patterson and the booster club drew inspiration from multiple sources but noted that while there are other campuses that may have many of the features of the new field house spread across multiple buildings, they are not aware of any high school facility in Tennessee that incorporates them all into one building the way this project intends.
Other potential uses of the new facility would include Fellowship of Christian Athletes camps, indoor 7-on-7’s, weight lifting competitions and community concerts. Patterson added that the ability for football, soccer, baseball, softball and band to practice indoors during inclement weather and to reduce the wear and tear on game fields are also key advantages.
James summed up the project as not only an investment in Richland athletics but in the school and the community as a whole.
“When you have successful sports programs, which this should enhance all of our sports programs with the facility, the kids will be proud of what they’re doing,” he said. “It helps to increase the winning percentages. Whenever you have winning, successful football teams, your school morale is much higher. When school morale is higher, your overall school, the quality of the grades, the quality of the work being put out increases.”
The booster club has plans to help raise the remaining amount for the facility, and Patterson wants to emphasize that one of the most important aspects of the project is that it is not seeking to push the financial burden onto the school board or the taxpayers.
“The great thing is we’re not asking for county resources to build,” Patterson said. “It’s entirely privately funded or will be. We won’t need the school board to match us or anything like that or raise taxpayer money to build this or anything like this.”
For further inquiries, contact Boggs at 638-4638 or firstname.lastname@example.org.