Dawning of a new era

NCCS begins renovations at Memorial Stadium

This+virtual+recreation+of+the+new+Memorial+Stadium+boasts+a+new+sign+on+the+back+of+the+home+side+bleachers.

This virtual recreation of the new Memorial Stadium boasts a new sign on the back of the home side bleachers.

Camryn Cooney, Chief Entertainment Editor

Hoover High School’s Memorial Stadium is the home of many Hoover sports and other events, including the Class of 2021 graduation in May. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the stadium, and there are going to be some major renovations, according to NCCS Director of Special Projects Mr. Tim Walker and Hoover Athletic Director Mr. Tom Oakes.
“Renovations for future students and future Hoover athletes will be state of the art,” Oakes said. “They’re going to be such an opportunity for student athletes to play at the best facilities in Stark County.”
In addition to the new grandstand, there is an Athletic Facilities Master Plan which highlights indoor courts, fields, track, and much more. NCCS is also planning on getting new turf fields to be able to have multiple practices a day.
“There are few high school athletic venues in the state as unique as Memorial Stadium, and it has certainly served our school district and community well,” he said. “While the stadium grandstand has been a special place, the time has come to replace the grandstand with a new grandstand that will be much more accessible and safe. The plans for the new grandstand call for handrails, widened aisle ways, wheelchair and companion seating, an enlarged press box, improved restrooms, and a roof similar to the current structure.”
Walker talked of the Legacy Campaign.
“We have a project going on right now, [and] it is called the paver project,” he said. “Folks can buy a paver and put their name on the paver and so forth, and that’s gonna be in an area that we’re doing at the entrance of Memorial Stadium.”
“Legacy Landing” will be a hard surface area near the tunnel at Memorial Stadium and it will include approximately one thousand 8×8” brick pavers along with as many as forty 24×24” limestone pavers. The 8×8” pavers are $500, and each donor can choose a Hoover logo along with family names. The 24×24” pavers will honor any donations to the project ranging from $10,000-$49,999 with custom logos and family/business names.
They are also hoping to have partnerships with the community to directly benefit the project as well. The plan is to begin the demolition after the end of football season with hope that the stadium will be back up and running by May 1.
The new improvements will benefit all sports; for example, the addition new turf fields will allow the girls and boys teams to practice at the same times.
Also, the new fields will enable the high school teams to practice on turf — and not the grass fields at the elementary schools. All of these new things at Hoover are to make sure that it is done with good intentions for all of Hoover’s athletes.
“The Athletic Facilities Master Plan was started in 2017 and this is a part of that project, an exciting part of it that we’re glad to be able to get done,” Walker said.
They have already completed about $2.5 million worth of projects since 2017. The new building with locker rooms next to the soccer fields, adding turf to the soccer and lacrosse stadium, and the asphalt that was done on the east side of the stadium. The locker rooms and the turf fields give the female athletes an equal opportunity to use the facilities and have equal access to practice.
“I believe that it sets up our school district well and we hope to generate revenue with these facilities so that we don’t have to take money from the school every time we need to renovate,” Walker said.
With all of these changes coming to Hoover in the next couple years, students and student athletes will have many new opportunities and will make Hoover, North Canton City Schools and the community better as a whole.
“It’s an exciting time to be in North Canton City Schools so we’re excited about the potential,” Walker said.