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Ground to be broken for new JBHS track

July 06, 2009

MERCERSBURG, Pa. -- The Mercersburg Area Chamber of Commerce and the Tuscarora School District are hosting a groundbreaking ceremony for the new James Buchanan High School track on Monday at 9 a.m.

Scheduled speakers include Tim Witter, longtime James Buchanan athletic booster and Fix JB Sports member; state Sen. Richard Alloway; and Tuscarora School District Superintendent Rebecca Erb. Former state Sen. Terry Punt has been invited to speak.

The public is invited to attend.

According to a news release, Fix JB Sports is a group of parents, grandparents, coaches, teachers and other concerned community members that formed in November to plan ways to raise private donations and grants to renovate the high school's aging, deteriorated athletic facilities. The improved facilities will be available for community use, as well as for James Buchanan's physical education programs and competitive sports.

Fix JB Sports is part of the James Buchanan Athletic Booster Association, a nonprofit volunteer organization that supports all James Buchanan High and Middle School athletics.  

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The chief targets of the fundraising effort will be the Rocket Stadium and track, the high school swimming pool and the tennis courts, according to the release.

Rocket Stadium currently does not have a usable running track and last hosted a track meet in 1998. The restrooms and other stadium buildings are in poor condition, and the playing field is under pressure from heavy use, according to the release. The existing tennis courts have severe cracks related to site problems. The pool facility, almost 40 years old, needs work to keep it functional, according to the release.

The Pool Project, a part of Fix JB Sports, has been providing volunteer labor and conducting fundraisers to renovate and reopen the pool locker rooms by next year. The pool locker rooms were closed in February 2008 due to deterioration and hazardous conditions from high humidity levels, according to the release.

St. Thomas (Pa.) builder Doug Metzler volunteered to install a new fiberglass ceiling, as well as new locker room lighting purchased by the Pool Project. John Heebner built a new timing platform for the pool deck. 

The Pool Project has raised more than $16,000 so far and continues to raise money for rust-proof plastic lockers, according to the release.

For more information about Fix JB Sports, contact Marianne Quinn at 717-369-5664 or Ralph Lehman at 717-369-2439; or go to http://fixjbsports.org.

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