Athletic complex dedicated
Tonganoxie's athletic complex is now complete.
Friday night, just before the start of Tonganoxie's football game against Immaculata, Bob DeHoff, president of the Tonganoxie school board, opened the dedication ceremony for the new facility.
"I'm extremely pleased with the amount of help by the volunteers who came forward and assisted in pulling off the project," DeHoff said. "They've helped create a tremendous project for us that we can use for years to come."
Larry Meadows, a local contractor and one of the many who helped plan and build the complex, said much of the credit for the new facility goes to school superintendent Richard Erickson.
"He should be given a lot of credit because he realized he needed to have community involvement on this," Meadows said. "And he was sincere about using community members' judgment about what the community would be willing to build."
Meadows said the expertise of the volunteers saved the district money.
"We wouldn't have been able to afford to hire engineers," Meadows said. "That facility would have cost over $2 million if we had used the normal conventional method to build it consequently, we cut that cost by 50 percent or more."
The complex includes grandstands on the west side of the football field, a storage building and press box, the new track and the multi-purpose facility.
Across the street in Chieftain Park, improvements include one regulation soccer field, and another soccer field. Also located there are new playground, basketball goals and a walking trail that ties in with the Reusch Memorial VFW Park.
Some of the same volunteers who worked at the high school complex helped with the recreation commission's projects in the park. Meadows said although many individuals helped, Sam Lobb deserves much of the credit.
"He was the person who ram-rodded that soccer field all the way with all the specs as to how it should be built with the grading and irrigation systems and the lighting," Meadows said. "Sam had help from people throughout the community, but that soccer field over there is Sam Lobb's child."