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New stadium to open this week

October 30, 2006

Mike Callas Stadium at North Hagerstown High School will formally be dedicated Thursday, and the first high school football game will be played there Friday, according to a Washington County Public Schools press release.

The North Hagerstown High School Stadium Committee has planned the formal dedication and official unveiling of a bronze sculpture honoring the late Mike Callas. A private dedication for Callas family members, dignitaries and invited guests will be Thursday at 5:30 p.m., followed by a public ceremony at 7 p.m.

The first game at the stadium, between North Hagerstown High School and Catoctin High School, will be Friday at 7 p.m. Festivities for the first game will begin at 6:15 p.m. with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by Senior Night for football players and band members.

A community open house hosted by the committee will be Saturday from noon to 3 p.m.

The Washington County Board of Education, by unanimous vote in July 2004, named the stadium after Callas, a well-known businessman and philanthropist who died May 31, 2004, at the age of 83.

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The bronze sculpture of Callas features one hand in his pocket and the other hand on a piece of granite, according to the press release.

Stadium construction began in November 2005, and much of the cost was raised by the stadium committee through private donations. By the time the stadium opens, the committee will have raised $3.5 million, including $750,000 in construction industry donations, according to the press release. The Washington County Commissioners financed $4.1 million for the project, which is being repaid through private donations, state grants and funds from the School Board and City of Hagerstown.

For information about the new stadium, go to www.mikecallasstadium.com.

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