HANCOCK - Since 2009, there has been an effort to improve the athletic field at the Hancock Central High School and Hancock Middle School, and a fundraising campaign to continue the improvements just received a $10,000 donation.
John Sanregret, HCHS principal and district athletic director, said the donation from the district's All Sports Booster Club to the Bulldog Athletic Complex Capital Campaign will help fund the construction of a combination press box and concession stand.
The Boosters currently provide concessions for events, Sanregret said, so having a permanent structure for concessions will help them, also.
Michael Bleach/Daily Mining Gazette
Clara Knight of Lake Linden-Hubbell leads a pack of runners in a track meet during the 2012 season at the Hancock athletic complex. The fundraising effort to continue renovations recently received a $10,000 donation from the Hancock Public Schools All Sports Boosters Club.
"They will get a return on their investment," he said.
Sanregret said the estimated cost for the construction of a press box/concession stand is $40,000 to $50,000.
As part of construction of the new middle school building next to the high school on Campus Drive in 2009, the existing athletic complex was rebuilt with a new infield, track, storage building, goal posts and scoreboard.
The next step is the press box/concession stand.
Sanregret said besides track meets, the athletic complex will be used by the middle school football team. The varsity football team will continue to play home games at Finlandia University's McAfee Field, which used to be Hancock Public Schools' Condon Field. The university and the school district agreed to have Finlandia take over the former middle school building on Quincy Street and Condon Field in exchange for providing "tuition remission" for Hancock students who want to attend the university.
Sanregret said the press box is needed for track meets and football games.
There is a preliminary plan for the two-story press box/concession stand, Sanregret said. It's hoped the cost of construction can be offset by donated services. The high school industrial arts students are also involved with the proposed project.
Over the years, Sanregret said the All Sports Boosters Club has provided "outstanding support" for the schools' athletic programs. The boosters usually provide about $15,000 annually to the district.
Sanregret said there is a core group of about 10 to 15 people in the boosters, with many others who volunteer for such things as ticket taking, which helps the district financially.
"Most districts have to pay people to work concessions or gates," he said.
The boosters are always looking for more members, Sanregret said.
"To be a member of the group, there's no requirement," he said.
Other funding for the press box/concession stand project will come from the Hancock Public Schools Foundation and the Alumni Association, Sanregret said.
Donations for the press box/concession stand project can be sent to 501 Campus Drive, Hancock, MI, 49930.