Basalt football finally at home
Tonight has been a long time coming for the Basalt Longhorns football team.After playing home games at the middle school for the last several years, the team will finally play under Friday night lights at the high school. The 7 p.m. game against Meeker will be the first contest on the new football field at the high school campus.”We’re ready to power that puppy up,” said Jo Gawrys, a Longhorns booster.When the Roaring Fork School District built the new high school south of town in the mid-1990s, officials said they lacked sufficient funds for athletic facilities. That was unacceptable to some parents. They founded a citizens’ group called Fields of Dreams and cobbled together cash, grants and in-kind donations to devote to the sports facilities.The group’s effort helped construct a softball field, baseball diamonds, football fields and a track, in full or in part. The school district received funds to finish the facilities when voters approved a bond issue 18 months ago. The district is adding bleachers with a seating capacity of at least 350 and still intends to add a concession stand.”For our high school to finally have these amenities it’s really rewarding,” said Gawrys, who co-founded Fields of Dreams in 2000. The completion of the football field is particularly rewarding to Jo and her husband, Raul. Their son, Ryan, is a senior on the football team.Gawrys estimated that Fields of Dreams spent roughly $1 million in funds and in-kind services on the athletic facilities by the time the work was turned over to the school district. One of the biggest pieces of the spending puzzle was a $200,000 grant from Great Outdoor Colorado.The football team is excited to finally get to play on its own field, Athletic Director Michael Green said. The move was anticipated for three or four years before it came to fruition, he added.The completed football field is one of a handful of additions that will greet Basalt High School students this year. The school added six classrooms and two art rooms, according to Principal Jim Waddick. The old art room was converted into a band and presentation room.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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