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Construction funds being raised in a variety of ways

January 09, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA.

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

Corporate sponsorships, naming opportunities and memorial pavers will give businesses and individuals chances to put their marks on Trojan Stadium and defray some of the costs of the project for Chambersburg Area School District taxpayers.

The renovation of the stadium is expected to cost $4.5 million to $5 million, but a group that includes Superintendent Edwin Sponseller, Chambersburg Area Senior High School Principal Barry Purvis and Athletic Director Don Folmar is preparing a fundraising effort that could lessen the amount that comes out of taxpayers' pockets.

"There's a great deal of excitement out there" about the stadium project, Folmar told the school board's Buildings and Grounds Committee on Wednesday. "It's certainly going to be the largest and probably most attractive venue in Franklin County."

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Graham Messner, a member of the group, briefed the committee on some of the ideas for raising money, including corporate sponsorships for the scoreboard and a "Wall of Fame" to recognize major contributors to the project. There also will be a memorial plaza for businesses, families or individuals to purchase engraved pavers or bricks, he said.

The sale of deeds for small sections of the field also is being considered, Messner said.

Richard Bender, the district's director of Buildings and Grounds, said Thursday he visited a number of high school stadiums in preparation for the project and saw similar examples of fundraising and sponsorships, including fields named for large corporate and individual donors.

Messner told the committee Wednesday that if anyone comes forward with an offer of a few million dollars for naming rights, "we'll have to hold a meeting."

Any funds raised will be funneled through the Chambersburg Foundation, said Sponseller, who will serve as "ambassador" for the campaign. The money raised will be put toward the costs of rebuilding the stadium, which the district is paying for upfront, he said.

"The foundation will serve as the conduit for funds raised to permit all the contributions to be tax-deductible," Business Manager Rick Vensel said Thursday.

Sponseller said Thursday that anyone interested in making a donation may call him or Vensel.

The stadium is scheduled for completion by the start of the next football season, Bender said.

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