Bridgeport fieldhouse remodel project nearing its completion
BROOKSIDE — The days are being counted down until Bridgeport High School will play its first ‘home’ football game since flooding problems caused the nearly 100-year wooden grandstands at Bill Jobko Stadium to be razed in the summer of 2019 and forced the fieldhouse to be gutted and rebuilt.
A huge step was taken forward Friday when general contractor, Colaianni Construction of Dillonvale, handed the fieldhouse keys back to the district as the final punchlist was performed on the refurbished Lansing Sportsmens Club Fieldhouse.
“The (punchlist) process went very smoothly. There are very few things that need to be completed,” Bridgeport Exempted Village School District Superintendent Brent Ripley, who toured the structure– which received a $388,000 facelift — with Josh Predovich of SHM Architects; Colaianni Construction Superintendent Corey Starosciak; Bridgeport High School Athletic Director Greg Harkness and Board of Education member Jerry Moore, said. “Most of the things we pointed out today were painting issues where places need touched up.
“The building functioned the way it should.”
The Bulldogs, who haven’t played on the Perkins Field surface at Bill Jobko Stadium since 2017, are scheduled to christen the new bleachers when Monroe Central visits on Friday, Aug. 28. Bridgeport split its home games between St. Clairsville’s Red Devil Stadium and the Dave Bruney Football Complex in Martins Ferry in 2018 before playing solely in Martins Ferry in 2019 and 2020.
“We are really excited to return home. Our seniors haven’t played a home game their entire careers,” Ripley noted. “I’m not only excited for the players, coaches and staff, but for the community, the board of education, the faculty and the alumni.”
The target date for the final completion is Aug. 6.
The brick building has weathered many years of flooding and was in dire need of repairs, which were facilitated generous donation from the Lansing Sportsmens Club.
“This wasn’t a 2021 donation. This was a legacy donation. This will last for years and years to come,” Ripley said when the donation was presented to the district. “You’re touching lives of kids who aren’t even born yet. It’s phenomenal.”
The entire inside of the fieldhouse was gutted, from the drains under the concrete floor to the duct work in the ceiling.
The opposing team will now dress and shower in the east end of the fieldhouse, with the game officials having their own dressing and showering facilities. Men’s and women’s handicapped restrooms were also installed in the middle portion of the building, while the Bulldogs will dress and shower in the west end. There is also a trainer’s room, a coaches room with showers, a mechanical room and a utility room. The floors were busted up and replaced with a new, shiny surface and a new draining was installed throughout the structure, which also received a new runner roof.
New aluminum bleacher seating was installed earlier this year. The district paid $510,096 for the seating and press box. A new sound system was also installed, concrete was poured in the area underneath the bleachers and the remaining areas were paved.
An alumni group — The Perkins Field Committee — was formed and sold every seat in the stadium in a short amount of time, which paid for the aluminum bleachers.