COLUMBIANA - While it is taking longer than expected to complete, a new fence around the football stadium at Firestone Park is being received well, according to Park Board President Ron Detwiler.
Detwiler told council this week the fence is three-fourths of the way done and paid for. The metal ornamental fence is replacing the temporary plastic fence used over the years and features stone columns every so many feet.
The fence is not barring access to the field, which is one of two school football fields located in a public park.
The project was initiated by the Columbiana Clipper Athletic Facility Committee and the park board and is being done on a pay-as-you-go basis, with donations covering most of the cost.
"I'm very pleased with the way things have gone so far," Detwiler said, adding there have been no complaints about the project, although people have asked why it has taken so long.
"I explained the answer to that question is we'll be more than happy to take a donation," he said. "I'm glad to say the money has come in for three-fourths of the project that we have done at this point in time. All of that money has come from community support, alumni from the school, businesses and in-kind contributions."
The Columbiana Community Foundation and Mahoning Community Foundation also gave to the project, he said.
The project only moves forward as long as financing is available and he said the remaining portion is half of the front stone columns and fence and two track entrance gates.
Only one more fund raiser is scheduled and Detwiler hopes the project will be finished by the start of the football season, although if it isn't done until before the first home game in mid-September that will be acceptable, he said.
The park board is planning a dedication ceremony the night of the Columbiana-Crestview football game in October. The ceremony will acknowledge the renaming of the football stadium as the Harvey S. Firestone stadium.
The stadium has been known simply as Firestone Stadium and has been home to the Clippers since 1936, when it was constructed after Firestone donated the land and $15,000 to Columbiana when he was moving to Akron to start Firestone Tire.
The ceremony will also acknowledge the all-new Dr. Kenneth Murphy Memorial Ticket Booth at the south entrance. The booth was designed by Summer Barker of Architectural Solutions and replaced the former six-by-eight-foot both that was more than 50 years old and in poor condition.
Council members thanked the board and the committee for their work on the project and Mayor David Spatholt said the fence is "looking very nice."