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North High stadium to bear Callas' name

July 21, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

Minutes after watching a video in which community leaders, including the late Mike Callas, spoke for building a stadium at North Hagerstown High School, the Washington County Board of Education unanimously voted to name the proposed facility after Callas.

The action came at the formal request of the group trying to raise $2.3 million to build a stadium at the school. If built, it will be called the Mike Callas Stadium.

North High has used School Stadium at South Hagerstown High School for 46 years because it does not have a stadium of its own.

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On May 26, the North High Boosters Club's Stadium Executive Committee named Callas and Jim Brown as honorary co-chairmen of the stadium capital campaign.

A video about 15 minutes long was made featuring comments from committee members, including Callas and Brown, made that day.

On May 31, Callas, 83, chairman of Callas Contractors, died.

John Williamson, chairman of the stadium executive committee, previously announced the committee's plan to sell naming rights for the stadium and its components as a way to raise private funds for the project.

The cost of naming rights for the stadium was placed at $1 million, he said.

Since Callas' death, his friends, relatives and colleagues have pledged to try to raise $1 million in Callas' name, North High Principal Robert "Bo" Myers has said.

Myers introduced the playing of the video at Tuesday's meeting by saying, "We are going to see a picture say more than 1,000 words tonight."

Most of the video consisted of people explaining why they think the stadium, with an eight-lane track and 3,500 seats, is needed. Current and former students spoke on the tape about having to go to homecoming at a different school and the problem of transporting equipment across the city.

The last few minutes of the video consisted of comments by Callas, to whom the project has been dedicated.

"I am a strong believer in getting this stadium built," Callas said on the tape. "I will do everything I can to help." Building the stadium is the right, proper thing to do, he said.

Stadium supporters plan to show the video to people as part of their fund-raising efforts, Myers said.

While South Hagerstown High School was built nearly 50 years ago, the school is not truly complete until it gets a stadium of its own, Williamson said.

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