Construction of football entrance, Remembrance Walk moving forward
Separate projects on the Tonganoxie High School campus are taking shape.
Near Beatty Field, the new entrance between the west bleachers/press box and the fieldhouse is coming to fruition, while the Chieftain Remembrance Walk in front of the THS east campus building is moving forward as well.
At the football field, THS Booster Club president Bryan Kemp said he hopes the project will be finished in time for the Red/White intrasquad football scrimmage, scheduled for Aug. 29 at Beatty Field.
"It's going really well," Kemp said. "We hope that a week from Friday : that corner is completely finished by that night.
"We're keeping our fingers crossed, but we're hoping by that Red/White Scrimmage to get it finished."
The new entrance will have a ticket booth and basic lighting and electrical outlets inside.
Kemp said he hopes the building's red metal roof will be installed today, while the body of the building will be painted gray to match the press box and fieldhouse.
On Monday, roughly 20 yards of sidewalk was poured for the project. As part of the work, the hill that was at the southwest corner of the complex was cut down and a better drainage system was created. Fencing was taken out also, but Kemp said the interior fencing near the track would be replaced. And an exterior fence, which will be black, will be installed today.
If funding allows, the booster club also is looking to add some vegetation near the entrance in the future, Kemp said.
The process started in November, but initial work meant moving some utility and electrical lines before the meat of the project could even begin. With fingers crossed, Kemp said he would love nothing else than to see the project ready for team's scrimmage.
"We think it will happen," Kemp said. "We're getting a lot of people working and volunteering their time. "It's exciting and I'm really grateful."
Chieftain Remembrance Walk
Anyone who walks by the construction area for the Chieftain Remembrance Walk in front of THS' east campus can see the layout of the project.
CJ McDaniel, who is leading the project, has been putting in the framework for the large "T," the focal point of the walk, as well as other squares where additional bricks will be placed as well as two planters.
Two inches of gravel will be placed in areas that will not be the future homes of name bricks or the planters. Concrete then will be laid over that gravel layer.
As part of the work, a drainage system with 4-inch, 6-inch and 8-inch pipe was installed from underneath the project area; the pipe heads east near the high school and the system eventually dumps out to the culvert at U.S. Highway 24-40 and the THS parking lot entrance.
If weather cooperates, McDaniel said he estimated the project would take another three weeks to complete.
Between 400 and 500 personalized bricks have been sold for the walk. Inside the "T" will be the memorial bricks honoring people associated with the school district, such as administrators, teachers, students and others, who now are deceased.
Other bricks throughout the courtyard will be available to recognize others in the community and school district - living and deceased.
Bricks are available for $35 and include three lines for engraving. Each line includes 15 available characters.
McDaniel stressed that bricks can be purchased after the Remembrance Walk is finished. Engraved bricks will be placed alongside plain bricks to complete the courtyard. However, those plain bricks may be removed, engraved and then returned to the courtyard.
The project has been made possible completely through volunteer work and donations.
"It's unbelievable how the community has really come together for it," McDaniel said.
Kelly Frantz, whose husband, Lucas Frantz, was killed while serving in Iraq, and her mother, Pam Jeannin, introduced the idea for a remembrance walk. Initially, the memorial was to be built southwest of Beatty Field where Lucas Frantz played football for THS. However, officials opted instead to build the courtyard in front of the school so that two projects - the Beatty Field entrance and the Remembrance Walk - were not going on at the same time in such close proximity.
For more information on the Chieftain Remembrance Walk, log on at www.chieftainwalk.org.