Archive for Sunday, August 22, 2010

Temporary facilities to serve Lions for beginning of football season

The Lawrence High School football team practices on the field on Aug. 19. Construction is still in progress on the stadium’s visitor side, including the press box. Below, this architect’s drawing shows a restroom and concessions building at the northeast corner of the field, alongside a ticket booth and arched entryway.

The Lawrence High School football team practices on the field on Aug. 19. Construction is still in progress on the stadium’s visitor side, including the press box. Below, this architect’s drawing shows a restroom and concessions building at the northeast corner of the field, alongside a ticket booth and arched entryway.

August 22, 2010


Where to donate

For more information about the LHS Building on Traditions effort, visit

Donations are being collected by the Lawrence Schools Foundation, 110 McDonald Drive. For more information, call 330-2790 or visit

LHS stadium will not be complete for first home game

The construction should be finished in time for the second home game. Enlarge video

No, the concessions stands won’t be ready. Nor the press box. Or the restrooms.

And don’t expect air-conditioned trailers for relief when the Lions of Lawrence High School welcome Leavenworth to open the football season Sept. 3, said Frank Harwood, chief operations officer for the Lawrence school district.

“We may not be able to get those, because they’re already committed to Kansas Speedway — and they probably have a longer-term contract,” said Harwood, noting that traditional Port-A-Potties likely would be used instead.

But the district is confident that its temporary restrooms, concessions stands and other offerings will be very much a short-term fix, as construction continues on more substantial projects at the LHS football stadium, 1901 La.:

• Two buildings, each containing restrooms and concessions. One is going up near the south end zone, and the foundation is set for another at the field’s northeast corner. Cost: $675,000.

• A press box behind and above the east stands, looking across the field and over the visitors’ sideline toward the home fans and LHS team on the other side. Cost: $496,000.

Officials are pushing to have the first concessions and restrooms building available by LHS’ second home game, Sept. 17 against Shawnee Mission South. The press box is expected to be finished by Sept. 30, a couple days before Olathe East comes to town.

“The good thing is we went a whole season last year without those facilities, so we can do it for one more game,” said Matt Brungardt, Lawrence High principal.

More work could be on the way later this fall.

A group of alumni and boosters is gathering donations to enhance the fan experience at the new on-campus field and more.

The organization, called LHS Building on Traditions, already has collected $130,000 in donations to be used for adding:

• A brick-and-stone enclosure for the main scoreboard near the north end zone.

• Two ticket booths, each enclosed in brick-and-stone entryways. One would be adjacent to each of the concessions/restrooms buildings, allowing spectators at either end to come in through an entry reminiscent of the iconic arch at Haskell Stadium.

The Lions have been playing on their own campus for only one year, but supporters are counting on the new features — preliminary estimated cost: $120,000 — to help continue the winning tradition, all without cost to taxpayers.

“We know the district money only goes so far,” said Doug Gaston, co-chair of the fundraising effort and who has had sons play for the Lions. “It’s unfair for them to spend their money on window dressing. The district has given us an opportunity to do this, and we feel it’s in the best interest of Lawrence High to dress it up a little bit and make it as first-class a facility as we can.”

Enclosing scoreboards is also part of the group’s plans for the baseball, softball and soccer fields at LHS.

“The district can only go so far,” Gaston said. “The checkbook has a padlock on it. We’re just trying to take the investments made by the district and build on them.”

Across town at the stadium at Free State High School, members of the Fritzel family donated a building for locker rooms, storage, offices, restrooms and concessions. The project used the same limestone used for The Oread, just north of the Kansas University campus.

The work at Lawrence High will feature brick similar to materials in the high school itself, plus split-faced concrete block like that used for the bleachers.

“This was an effort to bring the equality to the two (schools’) sports fields, the two athletics fields, to get each of them on par and have the same components and the same programs,” said Chris Cunningham, an architect for Treanor Architects, which is donating services to LHS Building on Traditions. “Now both have press boxes. They both have concessions. They both have restroom facilities.”

Marshall Rawley, a Lawrence High senior, is looking forward to the work getting done, and not just because it’ll open up more parking spaces with construction crews out of the way.

“Now,” he said, “it’ll make us matched up with Free State.”


David Holroyd 7 years, 9 months ago

Fire the school board for promoting two ill conceived bond issues and give the public in Lawrnee an F for passing them and paying some company from Johnson County to brainwash the dolts in Lawrence who cannot think for themselves.

Get those porta potties off that property within 48 hours after the games.

newmedia 7 years, 9 months ago

Those Port-a-Potties will be moved the next morning - To Memorial Stadium!

Andrew Boyd 7 years, 9 months ago

wait a minute free state is not getting a grand arch way or an enclosed score board i dont think its fair... come on this cr!! has gone on long enough we need to start focusing on the class room and not the D____ athletic fields.

mom_of_three 7 years, 9 months ago

And lawrence high is raising part of the money themselves. It wasn't donated like all the facilities and extras at Free State state high school. Let's read the article before you start getting upset/

Andrew Boyd 7 years, 9 months ago

i was not upset about the equality. read the post before YOU get upset. i was saying we need to refocus on the classroom and not the athletic fields. all the money that was spent on these fields at both high schools could have gone to improving the buildings that need work throughout usd 497.

BruceWayne 7 years, 9 months ago

" all the money that was spent on these fields at both high schools could have gone to improving the buildings that need work throughout usd 497."

no, it could not have.

jackson5 7 years, 9 months ago

Yes all that money could have gone to make improvements at the high schools. Both schools have a long list of needed improvements for repairs, not to mention the proposed 9th grade centers. The bond funds could have been used forany capital expenditures at the high school, not just sports facilities.

rtwngr 7 years, 9 months ago

The problem is that Lawrence H.S. and Free State would not have been allowed to have home games at Haskell anymore. The league had enough of unnecessary injuries as a result of that overused cow pasture that passed as a football field.

BruceWayne 7 years, 9 months ago bad I guess. I could swear Dr. Doll stated in one of his online chats that it had to be used to improve the athletic fields. Anyone know for sure?

Andrew Boyd 7 years, 9 months ago

left over bond funds can be used for any capital improvments. ex: building upgrades/maintinance, or in the case in lawrence athletic fields

mom_of_three 7 years, 9 months ago

Who says I was responding to your post, lynchburg

hail2oldku 7 years, 9 months ago

Actually the TWO concession stands and restroom areas are being paid for by the district. Why not apply the DONATED money towards a single locker room/concession/restroom area like the Fritzel donated building?

The district will still be paying more than they should have (for either facility quite frankly) but at least the coughequitycough, cough would be maintained.

Take_a_letter_Maria 7 years, 9 months ago

I have to agree h2oku. Why isn't the money collected by the LHS Traditions group being used to offset the cost to the district for the bathrooms/concessions/lockers? The other items are more window dressing and not necessary.

GDW 7 years, 9 months ago

As an LHS grad, I am glad to see activity on the part of the alumni to rectify the imbalance in facilities that was created when Mr. Fritzel donated the money to Free State for their wonderful facilities. I have nothing against Mr. Fritzel or Free State High, (who I cheer for also until they play LHS). However I am rather perturbed to say the least at the school board for allowing this disparity to occur. I was under the understanding that from the very outset both stadiums and facilities would be built at virtually the same time with the same amenities, and that any donations from private citizens would be applied to the fund for both schools. Either I was wrong about this or the school board was extremely derilect in their duty to maintain the equality in schools they so emphasized would occur long ago when they were touting the bond issue back in the 90's.

average 7 years, 9 months ago

What percentage of LHS students will walk onto that field for more than two minutes of their HS career? I'm willing to count cheerleaders and marching band members.

LTownBaby 7 years, 9 months ago

Hopefully everyone of them! I think the graduation ceremony these days lasts a little longer than 2 minutes. You must have gotten your GED, or maybe not!

Ltown2Dtown 7 years, 9 months ago

The percentage of students touching the field will be no different than the percentage that touched the field at Haskell, so that is a B.S. analytic to use. I would be more interested in knowing how much money is saved per game (assuming all construction costs are sunk costs) now that buses are not needed to transport the football players and the band, including all the money that is not being pocketed by Haskell. Non monetary value, such as the impact on the students using better practice facilities and the impact on student unity and High school pride, should also be considered.

mom_of_three 7 years, 9 months ago

It depends on what percentage you want to look at.
Before the new field at LHS, football and band practiced on the grass next to the old football field, which was too sloped to be used for anything. So now that there is a new field, band practices and football practices increase the usage of the field over what Haskell was used (since Haskell was only used for games.) Same percentage of the student body, I suppose, use the field that used the field at Haskell, but the use of those students on this field compared to Haskell is one thousand fold or more.

yankeelady 7 years, 9 months ago

I still think one centrally located facility (like the ODAC) would have been the way to go. Less money, and no private donors with large pockets favoring one school over the other. And what happens if , at some point on the future, the district adds a 3rd high school?

hail2oldku 7 years, 9 months ago

There are two facilities for Olathe schools, though yes those two facilities are shared by 4 different high schools.

hail2oldku 7 years, 9 months ago

Oh, also, neither one is really centrally located. That would have really cost some $$$.

mom_of_three 7 years, 9 months ago

And don't the high schools at Olathe have practice fields at their schools, which LHS didn't necessarily have (unless you count the grassy field they used to practice on.) I don't know about Free State.

Andrew Boyd 7 years, 9 months ago

this is just the beginning it wont be long before someone at free state decides that they want a second consession stand, or a new scoreboard "equall" to what lawrence high has. when dose it stop that is the question that i now pose. also i ask when do the theater programs or the band programs or the educational programs at both schools get the improvments that the athletics have gotten. more students are impacted by those programs then by the football program.

iquilt 7 years, 9 months ago

'more students are impacted by those programs then by the football program'.....REALLY?????? How can you back that up? Isn't it a 'tradition' for students to go and cheer for the football team? And a 'tradition' for the band to participate in the halftime ceremonies? Because of the football program, many parents get to see the band's performance and not just parents, students also. They are programs that are equally important.

Andrew Boyd 7 years, 9 months ago

the academic impact is much greater than the football impact. it is a proven fact that most students that graduate from high school that go onto collage. will not do so for or b.c of football. granted the moral impact of football is great. but the impact of academics is farther reaching and will get students farther in life then that of thier high school football careers.

puckstah 7 years, 9 months ago

So true, so true, Yankeelady!! Blue Valley also shares fields among schools.

Kash_Encarri 7 years, 9 months ago


Having to travel to each of the Blue Valley schools this past year for various activities, they all have much better on campus facilities. Their "practice" fields are better than Haskell's football field.

Stuart Evans 7 years, 9 months ago

who are these facilities serving lion? It's my understanding that lions are considered an exotic animal, and I just don't see how it could be legal to serve them, even if it is with a nice red wine and greens.

Mari Aubuchon 7 years, 9 months ago

"And don’t expect air-conditioned trailers for relief "

Is this facetious? Anyone?

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