Shade-Central City School District’s athletic facilities are getting a face-lift, with new bleachers, restrooms and a rubberized track adjoining the field in Panther Stadium.

The $500,000 renovation project began in January, but periods of bad weather delayed it.

Now, it will be completed by football season, said Dave Berkey, the district’s maintenance supervisor.

Berkey said the new aluminum bleachers are wheelchair accessible.

“They are accessible from both sides,” he said.

There also is an increase in seating, but exact figures were not immediately available.

“There will be a much better view for everybody,” he said.

Athletic Director Paul Leonard said the bleachers that flanked the visitors side of the stadium once were on the sidelines of history.

In 1960, the bleachers were brought to the district after being used for President Kennedy’s inauguration, he said.

High school Principal Joe Kimmel said that during renovation planning it was decided to place the home portion of the field in its original spot.

Now the visiting team will be on the concession stand side of the field.

“It’s a blend of tradition where we could bring back what was original and bring in new items for revitalization and excitement,” Kimmel said.

“Neighboring school districts have made improvements to their facilities, and we feel our students and community deserve the same,” he said.

Shade-Central School District’s capital improvement project

RENOVATIONS: Bleachers, outdoor rest rooms, track

COST: $500,000

COMPLETION DATE: Football season

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