DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) A multi-million dollar renovation project for De Pere High School’s Redbird Stadium is well underway. Local 5 found out what the improved facility will look like when completed in late August.
At De Pere High School the sounds of improvement, as work continues on a multi-million renovation project that Athletic Director Jeff Byczek says is long overdue.
“When they built that, I think the school was a school of 800 in high school. Now we’re about 1,400 so that makes sense to enlarge,” Byczek said.
After nearly five years of planning, in early May the district broke ground on this $2.75 million renovation of the De Pere Redbirds home field, that will add LED lighting, a new plaza and walkways, new visitor side seating and stormwater drainage improvements.
The centerpiece of this renovation project is a new home side grandstand, to be built right here, able to accommodate 2,000 people.
“The old one was rated at 1,200, this is going to be about 2000 on the home side and 500 on the visitor’s side,” Byczek said.
Byczek says construction got a head start after the pandemic canceled all spring sports. And School District Superintendent Ben Villarruel says moving ahead with the work made sense, because delaying it “…would likely incur additional costs as we come out of the shutdown and materials and labor prices rise.”
Byczek says he’s thankful the many components installed back in the mid-80s are finally being replaced.
“Bleachers had almost become unsafe. Every time we’d turn lights on in the stadium, some of them would burn out and we’d have to replace them,” Byczek said.
And in a few months, the work will be done; a renovated stadium set to serve the district’s athletes, students, parents, and more for many years to come.
“I tell people it’s a 30-year investment you’re making on a $3 million project,” Byczek said.
Byczek says he’s anticipating the stadium should be ready for De Pere’s home football opener against Wausau West, August 20th.