Mindy Taylor, spokesperson for the Cavalier Club, says the club has received donations totaling $800,000 plus additional resources to get renovation underway as early as late spring.
"It was a great gift, you can't turn that kind of money away..." said Taylor. A half-million dollars came from 1974 CHS graduate Tim Harris, owner of Harris & Ford LLC in Indianapolis. "He saw a great need for it. Anyone who's benn to the Herrnstein (Field) and Bobo Track knows that it's in dire straights of renovations."
There's been no significant renovations to the grandstand since the 1930s. The press box was added in the 1970s and in 1994 the track was replaced and chain link fencing was upgraded. Last summer, through a grant from the David Mead Massie Fund, the visitor's side bleachers were replaced atop a poured cement foundation.
Taylor says several of phases are planned, with the first being artificial turf (similar to what's being used at VA Memorial Stadium) replacing the Herrnstein natural turf and the track. Taylor says "It would be a year 'round facility." The turf being considered would have an 8-10 year life span. The plus with turf is low maintenance... no mowing, no watering or painting lines and a surface durable for football, soccer, lacrosse. As a certified athletic trainer, Taylor knows the value of such a surface even for cheerleaders and marching band members.
The second phase would be the home side bleachers and phase three the concession stands and bathrooms.
For the first time in eight years, Chillicothe City Schools will be going to the voters for a levy approval. The Cavalier Club is adamant about making the public aware these are two separate issues and the stadium facility renovations would be made with donated monies, not tax payer dollars.
"It completely private fund. So, there'll be no tax payer money, no school fund... I want the administratiors and the board of education not to have to worry about what's going on at Herrnstein and Bobo." Taylor says the club wants administrators to concern themselves with the levy, academics and the system's teachers. "Let the Cavalier Club take this (concern) one."
The Club is accepting additional donations. Interested parties should contact Taylor at 740-637-7350 or email her at mindyjp@hotmail.com.
Friday, Chillicothe Superintendent Jon Saxton and fundraiser Matt Hughes will visit Dan & Mike in the Morning on WBEX for more details.