Cub Stadium Renovation a Success
Within the first month of my time here at Nevada, Dr. Gray asked that I conduct a needs assessment of the activities program and develop a five-year plan. In doing this, it was clear to me that Nevada had many great programs and facilities and that the district, from teachers, coaches and directors, to administration and school board, were all committed to providing the best for our students. The commitment to students was visible with the new auditorium, the remodeled high school, the technology provided to enhance the learning of our students and so many other programs and initiatives taking place in our schools. However, after looking at all of this, Cub Stadium didn’t resemble the first class facilities and programs seen in all of these other areas.
Cub Stadium naturally became a priority of the five-year plan I submitted to Dr. Gray, and I am very thankful that he and the board supported this vision and commitment to taking this facility into the 21st century. We then began a two-year journey to get to where we are today. None of this would have been possible without the help and support of many people. Though I couldn’t possibly name them all, I think it is appropriate to highlight a few and publicly thank them for their time and efforts.
First and foremost, our Stadium Committee, composed of community members, helped make this vision become a reality. Thank you Shane Higgins, Marty Chitty, Ann Kurtenbach, Dave Mens, Mark Smith, Doug Couser, Joe Anderson, Joe Wakeman and Laura West for your time and effort into shaping this project.
I also want to thank and highlight Dave Kroese, our buildings and grounds director, and the rest of our maintenance staff for the countless and odd hours that they spent here at school making sure that every little detail was handled, and that the product we received was the best it could be. Working in the maintenance department can be a thankless job as people often only notice their work if something goes wrong. I think it’s important to point out all the work these employees do behind the scenes to make our district what it is today. Dave and our maintenance staff do a tremendous job, and there is no way we could have completed this project in such a narrow time frame without their help and leadership.
Dr. Gray and the school board deserve a lot of thanks and praise as well. Without their support and forward thinking, this obviously would never have happened. I am so thankful to work for a district that is committed to providing the best for our students. I am also thankful that my own children will be served by a district that has this philosophy. Our district’s leaders saw this project as investment in our students and community rather than an expense. With tremendous returns in concessions for the Music Parents, apparel sales for the Athletic Boosters and gate receipts for the activities department, this investment has already shown positive results. But finances aren’t the only thing that have been positively affected.
The pride that I witnessed in our students and fans was evident each night throughout the fall season. Whether it was the band members who were finally able to sit with the students in the stands, or the athletes who had a field that “fit” and that they could be proud of or the countless community members who had so many positive comments about the atmosphere, it was clear that our school and community had something they felt good about.
This goodwill was not limited to just our community and students. Many visiting teams and fans would talk about how “Nevada really did this right.” I heard a manager from a visiting team say, “This is amazing! I wish our stadium looked like this!” Alumni came back to Cub Stadium and left quite impressed. Whether it was honoring the team of 1976 or the group that came back for Coach Cecil Rhoads, they all walked away proud of their alma mater. No other facility in our school welcomes more visitors to Nevada than Cub Stadium. The impression of our school and community these visitors took with them was significantly different than it was in years past.
There are so many great things going on in the Nevada Community School District. Whether it be academics, athletics, fine arts or any other program in our schools, you will find a strong commitment to student success. We can now add Cub Stadium to the already long list of things that make us proud to be Cubs. I am confident that we now have a facility that will be a source of pride for our students and community for years to come.
Kyle Hutchinson is assistant principal and athletic director at Nevada High School.