By Wayne Allen Wallen@communitycommon.com
March 1, 2011
Portsmouth City School (PCS) officials say they are nearly ready to begin the construction on the second phase of the schools Athletic Complex in Portsmouth. The second phase will include the construction of a track and softball field, along with the addition of more green space.
"We've got two more properties to finalize (purchase of). It's our (PCS) goal to have the track part of phase two finished by the end of summer," Scott Dutey, Portsmouth City School Superintendent said.
Dutey said the district is in litigation with the acquisition of the final two properties needed to proceed.
"A track is something the district has not had in several years. Our kids have been running around the football field. We can't host any track meets, every meet is on the road and that makes it tough for the kids," Dutey said.
Dutey said once completed the track will located behind Second Presbyterian Church and stretch to Findlay Street in Portsmouth.
The softball field will be located north of 9th street from Waller Street to Wall Street in Portsmouth.
"Our hope is to shut down the street (8th Street to Findlay) in between the two facilities. This way it will be one big campus," Dutey said.
He said once 8th street is closed it will become a community space. Ralph Applegate, Facilities Coordinator for Portsmouth City Schools said the plans for the athletic complex were approved by city council they also allowed for the vacation of necessary streets.
Dutey said the district is hoping to allow the softball team play at least one game on the new field this year. "I don't know that we can do it, but it's certainly our goal," Dutey said.
"We are one hundred percent committed to this; we own part of the property. The money is there to buy the property," Applegate said. "There should be no question weather we are going to do it or not. it's a done deal. We're just waiting on the process."
"As soon as we get all of the legal stuff taken care of, we're ready to go," Applegate said.
Funding for the second phase came from the Clark Foundation along with contributions from the school. The school is putting forth funds from the sale of property that can only be used for such projects.
Phase One of the included the construction of a new football stadium, baseball field, tennis court, outdoor basketball court and walking track on Gallia Street next to the high school. Phase One cost about $11 million and was paid for entirely with private donations.