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SCASD Gets $200,000 Gift for Memorial Field Renovations

by on August 20, 2019 3:57 PM

A pair of State College Area School District athletic facilities projects are getting a boost from generous community members.

The school board on Monday formally accepted a $200,000 gift commitment to support Memorial Field renovations and a $33,375 gift commitment for the new scoreboard at the high school's South Track. Both donations are being made through the district's Education Foundation.

The donor of the Memorial Field gift has asked to remain anonymous until a later date, according to a memo to the board from Superintendent Bob O'Donnell. With the gift, the donor will be permitted to name the new main home team locker room at the field.

O'Donnell said the donor will be publicly recognized at a later time. The renovation project previously received a $500,000 donation from local business leader Galen Dreibelbis and the new plaza near the entry at Nittany Avenue is expected to be named honor.

"It’s so appreciated when members of our community are willing to donate from their own personal resources to help our district provide resources for our kids," Board President Amber Concepcion said.

Memorial Field is closed for the fall and spring sports season as it undergoes a $13 million final phase of renovations. The project includes new home-side bleachers with additional seats, restrooms, pedestrian plazas and permanent concessions. New locker room facilities will be added under the bleacher area as well. A concession plaza will be constructed on the former site of the Nittany Avenue Building, where the basement was retained for use with the locker room and classroom additions.

While Memorial Field is out of service, the varsity football team and several other programs will be playing at the high school's South Track field, where new lighting will be in place and a new scoreboard has been installed.

The $33,375 gift from Barbara Sorisio Vinson will pay for the new scoreboard, which replaces an old one that was in need of repair. A panel mounted on the scoreboard will acknowledge Vinson's donation in memory of her late husband and State High alum Don Vinson. 

"As a district and as a board we really value those contributions, which free up resources for other activities and goals within the school district," board member Dan Duffy said. "It’s very much appreciated."

Beyond this academic year, the South Track field will continue to be used by the marching band for practice and some sports teams for competitions and practices, though not for football.

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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