HCCSC cuts ribbon on new Huntington North multi-purpose outdoor facility

HCCSC cuts ribbon on new Huntington North multi-purpose outdoor facility
Posted on 06/02/2022
HCCSC and Huntington North High School cut the ribbon on Huntington North's new multi-purpose outdoor facility on ThursdayHCCSC and Huntington North High School cut the ribbon on Huntington North’s new multi-purpose outdoor facility during a ceremony on Thursday. The facility will host the Vikings’ football, boys and girls soccer and boys and girls track and field teams and will also be used by Huntington North’s band, JROTC and physical education classes.

The new facility is located on Huntington North’s campus near the east end of the field house, allowing for easy year-round access and the ability to use it during the school day. The stadium features an artificial turf surface, giving flexibility for usage and requiring less man hours for maintenance and upkeep. A nine-lane latex track is included for use by the Vikings’ track teams. The stadium also features LED lighting, new home bleachers to seat 2,500 fans, a new one-level press box and a new scoreboard and sound system. New bleachers on the visitor’s side of the stadium provide seating for 568 visiting fans, pushing the total seating capacity to 3,068.

Two outdoor buildings are also part of the project. The buildings house locker room facilities, restrooms and concessions. The first building, situated on the east side of the stadium, hosts both home and visitor locker room facilities, restrooms and storage. The home locker room features 100 new locker units, while the visiting locker room features 50 locker units repurposed from Salamonie School. The second building, situated to the west of the stadium, features additional restrooms, concessions, an electrical room and storage. A gated entrance with ticket booths is featured at the entrance of the facility, highlighted by a metal archway with the Vikings’ name and logo proudly displayed.

In addition to hosting Huntington North football, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls track and field, JROTC and physical education classes during the day, the facility offers the opportunity to host band competitions, community events and high school athletics postseason tournaments.

The stadium is situated with a northwest-southeast orientation. As part of the construction, a new softball field was built near the intersection of Viking Lane and State Road 5. The new softball facility features new bleachers, a press box, 60-foot dugouts with storage at the end of each, two turfed batting cages and new fencing.

Originally planned to be built to the east of the existing softball field, the stadium project needed to be relocated closer to the field house to avoid a gas line. A regulation-sized grass practice football field will be added between the stadium and new softball facility.

The new stadium facility offers structural safety and stability and meets the requirements for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, something Kriegbaum Field could no longer offer.

Kriegbaum Field, originally built in 1929, had become a failing facility in multiple areas, causing health and safety concerns for athletes and fans alike.

The bleachers at Kriegbaum Field do not meet the ADA compliance standards and are a safety hazard for fans. The bleacher steps at Kriegbaum Field have caused several falls due to their 12-inch height. The visiting locker room at Kriegbaum Field features a crack in the structure that allows for water to drip into the locker room, while leaks in the roof and windows in the home locker room have caused water damage. The locker rooms also lack proper ventilation, leading to a bad smell throughout the locker room facilities. Additionally, the playing surface does not cater to soccer, as the field is not wide enough to hold a regulation-size soccer field.

Kriegbaum Field’s location also posed issues, as a lack of parking and the need to cross a state highway were additional safety concerns. Additionally, the facility was not accessible during the school day for Huntington North physical education classes.

The new stadium project operated on a $7.9 million budget and saw nearly $500,000 received in donations from community stakeholders for Huntington North’s recent athletic facility upgrades. HCCSC and Huntington North would like to thank Bippus State Bank, First Federal Savings Bank, Brad Hummer, Huntington Sheet Metal, Kimmel Financial Services, Novae Corporation, Larry and Janice Ryan and Teachers Credit Union for their generosity in contributing to the facility upgrades and their support of HCCSC and Huntington North.

Funding for the stadium project came from a bond received in 2018. The bond helped HCCSC construct the new Roanoke Elementary School building and also assisted with funding for the Huntington County Community Learning Center’s expansion project as well as Huntington North’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrades. No new taxes were required to help fund the stadium project.

Discussions for the new stadium began in the fall of 2018, with board members, HCCSC administrators and Huntington North administrators visiting nine other high schools in northeast Indiana to view similar facilities.

Ground was broken for the project on May 27, 2021, and will be available for use starting later this month. The Kriegbaum family name will be recognized at the new stadium.
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