Lyboult Field is in the process of a new look.
Work continues on and around Richmond High School’s football field, the first phase of which is expected to be completed the first week of August, according to RHS athletic director Chad Bolser.
The concrete bleachers, long a fixture for home fans since the 1930s, were knocked down earlier this month, along with the press box. The west side, visitor’s bleachers are being moved to the east side, with traditional visitor’s bleachers going to the west side. Synthetic turf also is being installed, with a new press box being added.
“It has really been interesting to watch,” Bolser said. “Our project manager, Ron Maze, says it’s right on schedule.
“If you see it one day, and you miss a couple of days, you come back to a totally different look.”
The renovations are being paid for by a $7.75 million bond issue that also will pay for other projects across the Richmond Community Schools system.
Bolser said a second phase to the project includes work on the track that surrounds Lyboult Field, and storage facilities, and will happen next summer.
“I was shocked what happened within the first seven days,” Bolser said. “When you go out there and you look at it, they’re really moving. You realize it’s only been seven days, and it looks completely different. That was encouraging.”
Bolser said a dedication ceremony for the new field will be Aug. 23, the same night as Richmond’s 2013 football season opener against Connersville.
RHS coach Matt Holeva is eager to put the new field to use.
“It’s exciting,” Holeva said. “It was a little sad to see them (the home concrete bleachers) go, a little nostalgic, thinking they were there since the ’30s. That’s all that anybody at Richmond has known. It’s sad, but it’s exciting, going out a little bit every day and watching the work being done.
“I think it’s going to be a good opportunity for our kids, and really for our community.”
The original bleachers at Lyboult were built with funds from the Public Works Administration.
Those bleachers will be returning to Lyboult in another form. Bolser said he was told Friday the original bleachers were pulverized and used as a base for the concrete slab for the resetting of the bleachers.
“That was kind of a cool deal,” Bolser said.
Another change with Richmond athletics is happening with the departure of Becky Carr, a longtime member of the athletic department as the athletic secretary.
Carr spent 13 years in the athletic department. Bolser said Jane Parks will move into Carr’s former position.
“It’s kind of an end of an era,” Bolser said. “She’s been fantastic. She’s run that office, regardless of who has been the athletic director, in a very professional manner and done things the right way.
” … There is no question that position is the most important position in the athletic department.”