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Fundraiser for Pa. athletic facilities kicks off

July 31, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH
  • Bags of synthetic turf are piled up Sunday outside the stadium at the Greencastle-Antrim School District campus in anticipation of field surfaces being replaced.
Photo by Jennifer Fitch

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — Two oversized checks presented Sunday symbolically started the fundraising portion of a $2.5 million capital campaign to upgrade two athletic fields, stadium lighting and the track at the Greencastle-Antrim School District campus.

The G-A MAAX (Greencastle-Antrim Maximizing Arts and Athletics X-cellence) campaign will repay a loan for the work being completed this summer. The campaign’s steering committee hosted an event Sunday evening to provide updates on the project, announce Garon Gembe and Jeff Shank as honorary chairmen, and accept pledge cards and two checks.

Shank, a former Greencastle-Antrim High School quarterback, said extracurricular activities are a big part of a student’s life.

“We lived it, so it was very exciting to get this moving forward,” he said.

“I think it’s a capital campaign that stands for what this community stands for, which is maximizing excellence,” said Gembe, who coached basketball.

Vernon McCauley from the campaign’s steering committee accepted an $888.73 check from the John Allison Public House, which is donating 10 percent of proceeds every Sunday to the cause.

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He also received a $10,000 check from the Dean Martin family on behalf of Sunnyway Foods. That family has pledged an additional $40,000 if the campaign can collect contributions from nine other entities to match it.

Construction Manager Kevin Weller said the North Field, which is used for multiple activities, will be completed next Friday. The high school football field is a week behind schedule, with a new completion date of Aug. 19.

Both are being covered with artificial turf.

“Hopefully for the first football scrimmage, you’ll be playing on the stadium’s field,” Weller said.

Five-thousand cubic yards of topsoil were removed from the stadium, according to Weller.

Jerry Harper from Pittsburgh’s Worldwide Turf said the synthetic turf being installed in Greencastle is the same as one replacing the surface at the Minnesota Vikings’ Metrodome.

“The end result is going to be very, very special, and it’ll be something we’ll all be proud of,” McCauley said.

The track further deteriorated from when bid documents were prepared, Weller said. Now, the district is trying to completely strip the track, rather than overlay it, he said.

“You’ll have a whole new track surface when the project is over,” he said.

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