More than just bleachers — Eagles gift thousands in materials

By Valerie Urbanik -

Updates to the Dukes athletic stadium on Dickson Street could come pending approval Tuesday by the board of education.

North Olmsted’s school board has agreed to gift old aluminum bleachers, windows from the Eagles’ press box, fencing, and lights to Wellington for only $3,000, according to Wellington superintendent Dennis Mock.

“If we would do that all ourselves it would cost over $300,000,” Mock said.

The North Olmsted bleachers also feature a handicap accessible ramp.

In addition, Dukes athletic director Denny Ziegler said accepting the used equipment will save the district a substantial amount in repairs to other parts of the stadium — and to the soccer fields on the other side of town near Wellington High School.

The Dickson Street bleachers were condemned in October after an insurance agent refused to provide coverage for the complex in its current state.

Mock told the Enterprise the bleachers’ frame does need some repairs but the main issue was the wooden boards.

If the district were to put in new bleachers, that alone would cost between $80,000 to $100,000, Ziegler said. “It’s definitely going to help the district financially.”

Ziegler said the old Olmsted press box windows would replace wood coverings that are propped open during games, the lights would be installed on the soccer field, and the fencing will be used at the soccer and football fields.

“(The lights) will help with scheduling purposes because we can play double-headers at night,” he said.

Wellington’s athletic department has also been given $13,000 for a new speaker system in the high school gymnasium.

The Wellington Endowment Board, Women’s League, and Athletic Boosters Club donated the cash to replace the school’s original sound system from 1971.

“It’s been something I’ve been trying to do for the last year, year and a half to find something we can replace it with,” Ziegler said.

Every year at graduation the district receives complaints from people who say they cannot hear the ceremony.

Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-647-3171 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.

Editor’s note: Watch for this story to be updated following tomorrow’s board of education meeting.

By Valerie Urbanik