Seniors to graduate across the street from stadium

January 12, 2006|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Class of 2005 at Chambersburg Area Senior High School voted to have its graduation at Trojan Stadium, but with the stadium scheduled to be in the middle of major reconstruction this June, that will not be an option for this year's seniors.

The seniors did, however, choose to stay on campus, approaching the Curriculum and Policy Committee late last year with the idea of holding graduation at Bus Peters Athletic Field, said Eric Michael, the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

The Chambersburg School Board voted Wednesday to approve the students' choice.

The field, across McKinley Street from the high school and stadium, is used as a practice field for teams, as well as for physical education classes and track and field throwing events, said Richard Bender, the district's director of Buildings and Grounds.


Superintendent Edwin Sponseller said graduation is tentatively scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, June 9.

The grandstands of the nearly half-century-old stadium were closed last spring after a floorboard broke during a track meet, and last year's seniors took a vote on whether to hold graduation on the field or in Heiges Field House at Shippensburg (Pa.) University. By a narrow margin, the students chose the field, where they received their diplomas as a few thousand friends, relatives and faculty watched from folding chairs.

The school board decided to spend about $600,000 to tear down the home stands, refit the visitors stands and buy portable bleachers for the end zones. While the work was being done, the football team played the early part of the 2005 schedule at Shippensburg University before the field was ready for the final two home games of the season.

The board has since voted to go ahead with rebuilding the stadium at an estimated cost of $4.5 million to $5 million, also deciding that it shall remain the district's primary sports venue, even when a planned new secondary school is built on 78 acres the district recently purchased in Greene Township.

The stadium, with artificial turf, eight track lanes, new concession stands, restrooms, lighting and other improvements, is supposed to be ready for play this fall, Bender said.

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