SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor
Months of campaigning and spreading information paid off at the polls with the passage of a bond issue to renovate and improve Eggerss Stadium in downtown Van Wert.
Final unofficial results from Tuesday’s primary election show the 20-year, 1.15 mill bond issue passed by an overwhelming margin, 2,154-814, or 72-28 percent. Results will become official once certified later this month by the Van Wert County Board of Elections.
“The Van Wert City Schools and Board of Education are appreciative of the overwhelming support in the passage of the bond issue for improvements to Eggerss Stadium,” Superintendent Mark Bagley said. “We also want to thank the Stadium Committee led by John White and Eric McCracken for their leadership during the last several months.”
“After months of intensive work to educate and inform our community, it is very rewarding to realize the benefits that are to come with a stadium renovation,” White said. “The community will benefit in so many ways and this is a huge win for Van Wert. We are excited for Van Wert City Schools to proceed with fine tuning renovation plans and ultimately beginning work on the stadium complex.”
“On behalf of the Stadium Renovation Committee, I’d like to thank the voters who supported this, the volunteers, donors, areas business, the media, the school board, administration, and staff, and the Booster Club,” White added. “Special thanks go out to co-chair Eric McCracken and Superintendent Mark Bagley who were key to getting this vote passed.”
The bond issue will generate $5 million to renovate the stadium, which has been in use since 1936. The list of planned improvements includes concrete restoration; widening aisles on the home side and the addition of handrails; handicapped seating and accessibility; a new concession stand; larger restrooms, and a new home locker room and storage, all under the stadium.
Other scheduled improvements include new bleachers for the Cougar Pride Marching Band in the south end zone; a new concession building with restrooms and storage in the south end zone; an expanded home side press box; artificial turf; additional parking, and preservation of the Cougar Pride Wall.
“The work begins now to improve the stadium and help the City of Van Wert become a destination for families and our community to gather for years to come,” Bagley said.
The entire project could take as long as three years to complete. However, football games will be played in the stadium as scheduled.