Two of Butler County’s most popular sports stadiums are getting new front entrances and ticket sales buildings.
Work has begun on a $140,000 project to demolish the 23-year-old entrance to Lakota West High School’s Firebird Stadium in West Chester Township.
And construction will soon begin on Lakota East High School’s new main entrance and ticket structure on its Liberty Twp. campus.
Both Butler County high schools, which were identical when first built, opened on the same day in 1997.
The two schools are members of the Great Miami Conference of prep sports teams.
“The new structure will have four ticket window lines and four ticket taker lanes and appropriate lighting. There will be significantly more space outside the stadium for people to wait comfortably to enter the stadium or wait for a ride after a game,” said Scott Kaufman, athletic director for Lakota West.
“The lighting will be much better which will improve security during events. We also plan to add benches and tables outside,” said Kaufman.
Athletic booster support and other donors are covering some of the costs, he said.
“My goal for this (fund-raising) campaign was to generate $15,000. We are currently on a pace to exceed $25,000. This Campaign will allow us to complete more of the extras sooner than later such as truss work, signage, benches and tables,” he said.
The upgrade was overdue, said Kaufman of the stadium grounds.
“The number one reason for the renovation is providing a safer and more user friendly space for fans to enter Firebird Stadium,From a game management side of things, the ticket booth evolved into more of a storage building than it was a usable ticket booth. It was small, single window building,” he said.
“On a football Friday night, in order to open up multiple ticket lines, we put up tents and ran lights on an extension cord. The limited space added to longer lines and people buying tickets were often tripping over people in line to enter the stadium.
“In addition, there as very little space between the gate and the driveway – creating a safety hazard - and the lighting was just not very good,” he said.
Richard Bryant, athletic director at Lakota East, said his school’s new entrance facility will include space to sell school spirit merchandise.
“The new building will be a more secure location for ticket selling and will include a space for our athletic boosters to sell spirit wear. Collectively the Lakota East athletic community could not be more excited about this much needed improvement,” he said of the $150,000 project, which is also using booster and other financial donations.