DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) A multi-million dollar renovation is in the works for De Pere High School’s Redbird Stadium. As Kris Schuller reports the improvements will replace elements installed decades ago.
At the home of the De Pere Redbirds some big changes are coming, to make sure there is plenty of seating for fans for any sporting event this stadium holds.
“It’s important that we have enough space and that it’s a safe space,” said Athletics Director Jeff Byczek.
The school district is investing $2.7 million, adding LED lighting, a new plaza and walkways, new visitor side seating and most importantly a new grandstand for the home team.
“The stands were originally built in 1982 and over the years they’ve shown their age, wear and tear,” said Superintendent Ben Villarruel.
Villarruel says the existing grandstand has no railings, making climbing the stands difficult. The steel piers holding up the structure have settled making the stands uneven. But bottom line – the grandstand just isn’t large enough to accommodate all fans.
“The size of the bleachers we’ve outgrown. We’re always renting portable bleachers,” said Villarruel.
“When we built those bleachers our high school was 800 kids and now were almost 1,400,” Byczek said.
The plan – raze this grandstand that seats 1,200 and build new seating for 2,000, with seating for 500 visitor fans on the east side of the field.
“There is growth everywhere, our facility in this case is outdated and we need to update it,” said Byczek.
A project that Villarruel says the district has been planning for some time.
“Over the last five years we’ve set aside some money to accommodate the building of these stands,” said the superintendent. Money that will cover the cost of an improvement, long overdue.
Villarruel hopes to break ground on the expansion sometime next spring, with construction completed by August.
The architect working with De Pere has designed athletic facilities for Ashwaubenon and Bay Port high schools.