Veteran’s Memorial Field in Philipsburg might be in its final days.
Friday could be the last varsity football game played at the field that was originally dedicated Nov. 11, 1930. And a junior varsity football game Thursday night could be the last time the field is used in competition for good.
Of course, that is dependent on if a new football field slated to be constructed at the Philipsburg-Osceola Area High School grounds is completed in time for next football season.
If not, P-O games could be played on the current field, until a new one is ready, Athletic Director Lee Fisher said.
Football game Friday night could be last varsity home game played on Veteran’s Memorial Field
Veteran’s Memorial Field is adjacent to the Moshannon Valley YMCA, between Railroad and East Pine streets, and Black Moshannon Road.
The American Legion Honor Guard will retire the field’s flag Friday night as a way to celebrate the possible last varsity game played on the field.
The ceremony will be held during the Mounties’ game against the Huntingdon Bearcats where the flag will be lowered, and then presented to Superintendent Gregg Paladina, Fisher said.
“I haven’t heard a lot of negatives about the field (being closed); I think people are just happy there’s a new one in the works, but this one has a lot of history,” Fisher said.
The proposed new facility will include bleachers, fencing, concession stands, parking and team rooms. A new softball field will additionally be constructed as part of the district’s athletic facility master plan that was unanimously approved by the school board, Paladina said.
Athletic project will cost about $3M
The entire project will cost about $3 million, and will be funded by cash in the budget and a bond refinancing “where the savings in interest had to be utilized on capital projects to be taken up front,” Paladina said in an emailed statement.
Plans for what will happen with the soon-to-be former football field are up in the air, but the final decision will be in the hands of the school board, Paladina said.
Fisher said he hopes the district will consider using it for a practice field, and/or for youth football games.
It accommodated about 2,500 guests, but is under limited used because it’s on a flood plain with Moshannon Creek and Cold Stream Dam nearby, Fisher said.
If the district was to renovate the field, it would have cost about $1 million, but it wouldn’t have been a good return on investment, Fisher said.
As for the community reaction, Paladina said there are “mixed emotions.”
The new Veteran’s Memorial Field at the high school will become a center of pride for our community
Gregg Paladina, P-O superintendent
“Memorial Field has served our community well, but it was built in a flood plain, and therefore, the options for improvement were limited,” he said. “The new Veteran’s Memorial Field at the high school will become a center of pride for our community.”
Friday night’s game isn’t the last varsity home football game of the season.
Fisher said he helped plan the last game Oct. 29 against St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy.
“We’re looking at it as old fashion football,” Fisher said.
The Mounties will play on a turf field at the high school’s track. There will be some bleachers set up for viewers, but Fisher said guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs and/or blankets.
The game is free to the public.