State-of-the-art building opens for Greencastle-Antrim students & community at Kaley Field
The new building housing restrooms, the concession stand and the ticket booth at the Greencastle-Antrim School District's Kaley Field was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony on Aug. 25.
The project benefits not only present and future Greencastle-Antrim students, but the entire community, said Vernon McCauley, president of the Greencastle-Antrim Education Foundation, the non-profit whose mission is to impact and enhance the educational experience of G-A students through support of academics, the arts and athletics. McCauley co-chaired the project with Jeff Shank.
The state-of-the art, $600,000 facility comes six years after a sewer line problem meant using portable toilets at the field. The new restrooms feature touchless sinks, faucets and hand dryers.
The old makeshift concession stand has given way to one professionally designed and outfitted.
"It's pretty solid, pretty cool and looks very nice," G-A High School soccer player Theo Oreste said after the festivities.
"It's nice we actually have bathrooms, and I love the entrance," said Olivia McClure, who also plays soccer.
A 14-foot-wide passage through the nearly 3,000-square-foot building is now the gateway into the stadium.
Ribbons were cut on both ends of the entryway by Dr. Lura Hanks, G-A superintendent. GAEF representatives lined up on the side toward the parking lot, while students participated inside the stadium.
'Because we care'
The building will be used by athletes, band members and cheerleaders as they "make memories that last a lifetime," as well as the community during events like the Turkey Trot, Relay For Life and, in less than a year the military band concert and fireworks of Old Home Week, McCauley said.
"It's not a school project, it's a community project," Shank emphasized.
Megan Barkdoll, outgoing chair of Greencastle Relay For Life and G-ASD teacher, talked about both school and community.
For Barkdoll and her fellow wellness teachers at Greencastle-Antrim Middle School, Kaley Field has been their outdoor classroom where students learn teamwork, perseverance and cooperation.
Every spring, cancer survivors and Relay For Life teams fill the track and share the hugs, smiles, laughter and tears that are all part of the American Cancer Society benefit that's raised nearly $5 million in the last 27 years, Barkdoll said.
"So, why would we all support a concession stand and bathrooms? Why all the fuss?" asked Dr. Lura Hanks, superintendent. "Because we care about our facilities. We care about our students. We care about our community."
'Family and community'
Hanks also talked about the completion of the project amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"In the spring of 2020 and throughout the last school year, the likelihood of a ground-breaking seemed unrealistic — or, rather, hopeless," Hanks said. "But isn't that what happens in Greencastle? When the world sometimes seems too much to handle, or trouble comes our way, do we not rally together and make magic happen?"
McCauley, whose signature line is "We live in the best small town in America," talked about the support that snowballed during the pandemic.
F&M Trust was already onboard as a lead sponsor, but GAEF did not want to do a fundraising campaign while people were facing financial hardships and uncertainty from COVID-19.
McCauley credited Dean Martin of Sunnyway Foods with kick-starting the project. McCauley ran into Martin at the grocery store in December 2020 and Martin asked for an update. Learning it was stalled due to COVID, Martin got the ball rolling again not only pledging support, but contacting others.
F&M Trust and Sunnyway Foods and the Martin family were joined as major donors by Antrim Insurance; Antrim Way Honda and the Weaver family; Century Inc. and the Kinzer family; and Lumber Direct and the Stenger family.
Signs in their honor line the front of the building.
In addition, a new flag court just inside the stadium honors the late Warren "Puff" Weaver, founder of what would become Antrim Way Honda.
The major theme among the donors was "community and family, family and community," McCauley said.
- Substantial Donors: GoSports Turf; and Graphics Universal
- Blue & Gold Donors: 1st Ed Credit Union; Blue Devil Football, VIP Seating; Dwight Bard, Bard in the Box DJ Service; Fast Signs; G-A Class of 1969; Ganoe Paving, Inc.; John Flannery, John Allison Public House; Frederick Seibert & Associates, Inc.; Kline’s Grocery, Joe McDowell, Martin and Martin, Inc.; Larry Webster, Moen Products; Nitterhouse Masonry Products; Paul Politis; Premier HVAC Services; Richard Freeman, Jr. Bronze & Granite; Greg Strait, Strait Steel, Inc.; Tele-Plus Corp.; Travel Centers of America; T. Byers Contracting Excavating, Inc.; Ty Osbaugh; and WellSpan Health
- Over the Finish Line Donors: Gary and Daphne Murray; Greencastle-Antrim Lioness Club; the Divelbiss Family; the Guthrie Family; the McCauley Family; Wertner Signs, LLC; and Gifts in Memory of John Rishel
How to help
McCauley announced that GAEF is very close to meeting its $600,000 fundraising goal and indicated that additional donations are being accepted through the “Over the Finish Line” Campaign.
Donations to the Kaley Field Project can be mailed to: GAEF, P.O. Box 623, Greencastle, PA 17225 or donors may give online: www.gaefonline.org/finishline
For more information about the project, contact: McCauley at 717-375-5399 or VernonMcCauley@comcast.net or email GAEF Executive Director Dana Given, at office@GAEFonline.org
Shawn Hardy is a reporter with Gannett's Franklin County newspapers in south-central Pennsylvania — the Echo Pilot in Greencastle, The Record Herald in Waynesboro and the Public Opinion in Chambersburg. She has more than 35 years of journalism experience. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org