AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The home stands at Fitch Greenwood Falcon Stadium are an Austintown icon, providing seating for many great football games, track meets and band nights. But on Tuesday, this icon began being demolished in preparation for something brand new.
Tuesday afternoon there was a gaping hole in Austintown Fitch’s Greenwood Falcon Stadium in the area where the men’s restroom once stood. The demolition of the home stands was underway.
“It’s a needed change for the simple fact that they weren’t structurally sound anymore,” said Matt Bostian, facilities director of the Austintown Schools.
Bostian says the stands were 50 years old. He had a picture of where the saddles that hold the concrete had deteriorated.
“You know, that’s a big safety concern for us,” Bostian said.
“Watching the stands coming down is sad for me,” said Maryann Presley, a long-time Fitch fan.
Presley stopped by to take pictures of the demolition. She understands why they needed to come down, but still…
Presley: “My son played here, his friends played here, their children played here, his godchild played here. So what they’re knocking down is a lot of my memories.”
Reporter Stan Boney: “Even though there are new stands, you won’t quit coming, will you?”
Presley: “Absolutely not.”
The new bleachers will include seat-back chairs. There will be new men’s, women’s and family restrooms, along with new locker rooms for boys and girls soccer, plus boys baseball and girls softball.
A new press box will be built with elevator access. There will also be expanded handicapped seating at the top and bottom. Plus, in a Fitch tradition, the year of the current graduation class will be painted on them.
“It will continue in a form. It might not be all four numbers across there but it will be on there. It’ll be determined a little bit with the seat backs on the middle of the bleachers will determine that a little bit,” Bostian said.
The Fitch stadium bleachers project cost $2.3 million.
Demolition will take about a week.
Construction of the new stands will begin in May and should be done by July, making them ready for the start of football season in August.