Philipsburg-Osceola starts foundation to help football supporters upgrade facilities

The fieldhouse at Philipsburg-Osceola’s football stadium is more of a fumble than a touchdown.

The building has crumbling walls, bad plumbing, poor electricity and no heat, although you can see where the woodburning stoves that no longer meet code used to provide warmth. Visiting players have come already suited up to minimize time in the structure.

That is why the team’s supporters are looking to upgrade, but want to do it without adding to the district’s debt load.

“We are proud of our Mountie tradition,” said Dan Nelson. “We’re not proud of the building.”

P-O is creating a new educational foundation with the goal of augmenting district programs by non-tax-related fundraising. The nonprofit will be able to accept donations from individuals who can get tax deductions, or be the recipients of bequests from the estates of alumni.

Upgrades to Memorial Field, originally given to the district by the American Legion decades ago, is just the first item on the agenda. It is, however, a big item.

Nelson, one of the organizers, said the starting goal for the project is $500,000. It’s a conservative estimate for a project the district has looked at often over the years but could never give priority to over more educational construction, such as the recently opened middle school.

Superintendent Gregg Paladina has about $26,000 in commitments to the project so far. He said actual money will be able to be accepted within months, definitely by the end of the school year.

“About half of the school districts in Pennsylvania have educational foundations,” said Paladina. “An educational foundation will be here long after this project is done.”

The foundation and the project are both in their infancies, and early organizers are encouraging more community members and alumni to get involved. Anyone interested in participating, including fundraising, donating or volunteering for the foundation, can contact Paladina at 342-1050 or gpaladina@pomounties .org.