GROUND BROKEN — Among those participating in Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the baseball and softball complex planned by Steubenville City Schools were, from left, Athletic Director John Arlesic; high school Principal Ted Gorman; Superintendent Melinda Young; school board President Matt Davis; school board members Greg Agresta, Tom Timmons and Ruth Ann Bruzzese; Treasurer Kayla Whitlatch; baseball coach Fred Heatherington; softball coach Gus DiMarzio; and school board Vice President William Hendricks.
STEUBENVILLE — While construction crews were busy putting up silt fences to prevent dirt runoff, Steubenville City Schools Board of Education officially broke ground Wednesday on their new, $2.5 million baseball and softball complex on Stanton Boulevard.
Superintendent Melinda Young indicated that, weather permitting the site work will continue for the next few months and the fields should open by spring.
“This project couldn’t be done without everybody’s help,”She addressed the group at the ceremony. “When we started, one of our goals was to focus on the environmental sensibility of having a field up here. We considered LED lighting, which will be installed, and turf fields. Turf fields will not only reduce our water use but also provide us with chemical and fertilizer.
“Concerns with water runoff have also been addressed by Ohio EPA, Jefferson County Soil and Water and the City of Steubenville, and with those three groups working together, we’ve been able to do this project in an environmental way we know can make the whole city proud.”
Young credited her board of education — Greg Agresta, Ruth Ann Bruzzese, Matt Davis, William Hendricks, and Tom Timmons — and administrators, as well as businessman and developer Dominic Teramana, with making it happen, pointing out the concept had been on the back-burner until a year ago when Teramana reached out to her with his thoughts on the hilltop area’s potential.
Teramana, who was also present at the ceremony, stated that he was “very excited”to see the progress of the project, pointing out that his work on this portion of the site began many years ago with the creation of the Laurels.
“As I graded the ground, I realized (this) was a great site for a baseball field (and) a softball field,”He said. “I couldn’t be happier.”
Teramana, himself a Catholic Central graduate, said that baseball has always been his first passion. “I actually played Little League, Babe Ruth,” he recalled, adding he’s “elated”To have been a part of bringing the SCS project closer.
“This is a beautiful spot for a field,” echoed Big Red Softball Coach Gus DiMarzio. “It’s very exciting for us to have a place to call home. It’s a bright spot in a dismal time for what’s going on, we have kids that have lost seasons … this just brings a glimmer of light for everybody around.”
DiMarzio thanked board members and administrators, but said he’d be remiss not to remember the contributions of the late Rich Crugnale, Big Red’s first softball coach; the late Dr. Michael Giannamore, team doctor for Big Red’s football team for 35 years and a SCS board member for 12 years; and the late Mytia Barker, a standout athlete who’d returned to town for a memorial vigil when she was gunned down a year ago.
“We don’t have the stellar tradition the baseball program has or the football program has, but we’re building,”He said. “I think it’s great for us to have our own field and keep the tradition going and represent Big Red in the way it should be represented, on a hill overlooking Harding Stadium.”
Fred Heatherington, a baseball coach, said that it would be great to finally have their own fields.
“It’s been 89 years of Big Red baseball and we’ve never had a home field until now,”Heatherington said. “You guys always give our athletes the best facilities possible — they appreciate it, (we) as coaches also appreciate it.”
Ted Gorman, principal of Steubenville High School, said that the school was named for him because of his involvement in the “hard work, endless hours and true dedication”Young and the SCS board members of education, as also Athletic Director John Arlesic and Building and Grounds Director Glenn Woods and Special projects Manager Mike Bauman, and the coaches. “we’re going to have a first-class facility up here overlooking Harding Stadium.”
Wood stated that crews will need to move 2,000 cubic yards dirt on the seven-acre site. Along with the well-drained turf, plans call for dugouts as well as a press box and restrooms.
Teramana, said he’s always been a Big Red fan. It’s a smart decision to partner with Steubenville City Schools.
“(They) do an incredible job of taking care of all their properties,”He said, “making them beautiful and keeping them beautiful.”
Young stated that while the new complex will be state-of-the art and environmentally friendly, “our commitment to the environment goes even further. We’ll be breaking ground on a new STEM building in spring 2022, (it) will be LED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified.”
Young stated that the new STEM Building will be “a healthy building, highly efficient and also provide tax savings to our taxpayers … so it will basically cost close to zero to run once it’s built.”
“We’re really excited about that, and it also provides STEM education to our students that will provide them careers in this high-paying field,”She spoke.
Today’s breaking news and other information in your inbox