Reidsville launches fundraising campaign for football stadium facelift | News

JIM SABLE

REIDSVILLE — Reidsville High School’s athletics department is working on a community stadium and Jimmy Teague Field (JTF) renovation and improvement project that is expected to be completed in early 2023 if all goes according to plan.

The estimated cost of the upgrades is approximately $1.5 million, which includes replacing the grass playing surface with an artificial turf pitch in addition to a new six-lane track with pit inserts pole vault and long jump on the sidelines of JTF.

Rams head football coach Jimmy Teague said in a YouTube video posted earlier this month that between targeted grants and other pledged funds, he is confident they are on the verge of raising $1,175,000 and working to raise another $350,000.

“We’ve already raised over $120,000 in the first week or so alone, so we’re doing well, but again, we still have a long way to go. As I have said from the beginning, the stadium would not have been born without the community. Now we hope for the renovation, but it won’t happen without the help of the community. We need the community to step up and help us raise the rest of this money over the next two months so we can complete this project,” Teague said.

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Before all of this happens, the heart of the whole project rests on a potential grant from the NFL Foundation Foundation Program.

“The fundraising committee is working on a $250,000 matching grant through the NFL with a May 31 deadline, so we’ve been working hard to put it all together. We had to get a lot of feedback from everyone using the land. We were blessed because the school system and county commissioners said they would match that if we got the grant,” Teague said.

Since 1998, the NFL Foundation Grassroots Program has awarded more than $58 million in grants for more than 400 projects nationwide, and Reidsville hopes to be next on the list.

It will likely be mid-September or October 1 before Reidsville is notified of the NFL grant.

“The $250,000 is dependent on getting the grant, but not the $500,000 (for the track). They already have that funding. So the $250,000 is for county commissioners and council,” said Rockingham County Schools Assistant Superintendent of Operations, Dr. Sonja Parks.

So if the NFL grants and the RCS game don’t materialize, the school would be responsible for increasing the projected additional costs.

Parks said she’s optimistic about the grants, but if they aren’t, it could become a progressive endeavor with the track upgrade first.

“Maybe that’s an approach we need to take. We definitely want to tackle track and drainage issues first. We’re working with Attendance Group, an engineering company, to sort out the drainage issues and look to get that under control, and then we’ll put out the bids and figure out who’s going to do this project,” she said.

In addition to drainage issues surrounding Jimmy Teague Field, worn playing surfaces and deteriorating pavement on the track are other major issues. When engineers inspected the property, it was determined that all previous foundations were going to need to be replaced.

In January 2022, Teague and the Athletics Department proposed that as long as preparatory work on the foundation and installation of the new track surface was progressing, it made long-term sense to include a grass pitch as well.

The proposed projects will be the first major round of community stadium renovations since 1984. These state-of-the-art upgrades will rival any high school in the state as well as some smaller college sites.

full speed

As the outcome of the grants will not be known until later this year, the fundraising team is moving forward in the meantime in anticipation of a positive outcome.

The current plan to improve the Reidsville Rams Athletics Complex includes a three-tier fundraising program to achieve the goal of raising funds in the coming months.

This includes Ram Level Donors (75 people pledge $1,000), Blue Gold Level Contributors (15 people pledge $5,000), and Diamond Level Patrons (10 people pledge $20,000).

The football program underwent several major upgrades at Reidsville Football Field House beginning in 2019 when the locker room, coaches’ offices and team meeting room were completely renovated, but this will be the first major stadium and pitch improvement project.

The country house renovation included new flooring and fresh paint for the entire facility. Additionally, the newly installed player lockers are similar to those used by many top Division I college and pro teams.

Once funds have been secured for the athletics and football ground, RHS Athletics manager Joe Walker said if all goes to plan, demolition, leveling and installation could begin by December and end as early as February 2023 if the weather cooperates.

Reidsville football teams have won 22 state football championships, more than any other high school program in North Carolina. Coaches and the athletic department agree that they want a complex that reflects this heritage of the championship and ensures its continuity.

Obviously, the Reidsville joint venture and college football teams will appreciate the upgrades to the facility, but Teague says that since the community stadium has also been the home football field for Reidsville Middle School and other games in the youth league in addition to college football, this project benefits everyone.

“That’s another reason why we lobbied for the new turf and hopefully we can make improvements, not just to the turf itself, but also to other areas to make it a stadium of first class not only for Rockingham County, but also the entire Triad area of ​​North Carolina. We want to make it a showcase,” Teague said.

Parks said she and Rockingham County Schools would certainly do their part to help this project come to fruition.

“I’m just glad the board and commissioners have decided to do this and it’s time for it to happen for our children and our community.” There’s nothing that can galvanize anything like football, is there? So it’s a start. We have great leadership, great coaching staff and a champion football team. I’m so excited about this project and just praying it happens for our Reidsville football team,” Parks said.

To view a video recently released by the Reidsville Athletic Department for fundraising plans and an artist’s rendition of the new upgrades, visit https://youtu.be/ITG9RLn0nTE.

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