The field and track are complete and now it’s time to fill the stands at Wilson Field as student athletes take to the field and track.
After a multi-staged and multi-year renovation project, the Olathe Middle/High School administration is welcoming the community to tour the newly renovated facility Friday, Oct. 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. for the ribbon cutting ceremony of Wilson Field.
The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 6:10 p.m. in front of the home stands. The community can enter through the north main gate and the south drive-in gate. The public is encouraged to park in the north main gate parking lot if they want to exit their vehicles and explore Wilson Field.
“If you drive in, we ask that you remain in your vehicles,” OMHS Athletic Director Joe Archuleta said.
The school staff will be screening visitors upon arrival and should the stadium reach capacity, no additional visitors will be allowed inside the stadium. The stadium’s capacity is 750 people.
“Everyone coming in will be screened,” OMHS Principal Scot Brown said. “Following district protocols, we will be screening everyone who comes in and we ask that they wear their masks at all times while in the stadium.”
When the community enters through the north gates, they will get to walk through the new concessions area, which features a sponsorship wall before having the option to walk toward the home or away bleachers around the stadium. On the northeast side of the entrance, there is also a sponsorship plaque honoring platinum sponsors on the project.
The new press box features five separate rooms for the teams to utilize, with heating and air conditioning in each room. The previous press box was a one room shed.
Throughout the evening, Brown said, “We want to show off the stadium and (the public) to be able to see the entire facility.”
Archuleta added, “We want them to be able to, once we get done with the ceremony, let them walk around the stadium.”
Reflecting back on the project and seeing the finished product, Archuleta said he is excited for the opportunities the facility will afford not only students, but also the community.
“I’m excited for it because up until about the last three years, we were one of the only dirt tracks in Class 3A,” he said. “To get a new facility like this is just awesome for our kids and our community.
“I’ve had several ADs (athletic directors) from across the state and administrators and everybody I’ve talked to thinks we’ve knocked it out of the park.”
Since the beginning of the school year, Brown said the students and staff have been in the stadium a couple of times for assemblies, as the space allows them to maintain social distancing protocols.
“They (students) dig it pretty good,” Brown said.
Brown invites the public to tour the new facility anytime between 6 and 8 p.m. The school will turn on the stadium lights to give the community a feel for all the stadium has to offer.
As part of the project, the school planned to open the facility up in the evenings for community use. The school is not certain at this time when that will happen given the impacts from COVID-19.
“We’re hoping once the COVID stuff lifts, part of our deal with the community is to open it up in the evenings for community use,” Archuleta said. “Eventually, depending on the COVID situation, we want to be able to honor that promise.”
The football field was painted Thursday afternoon ahead of the ribbon cutting ceremony and the first football game, set for Saturday, Oct. 17 at 11 a.m. The Pirates host Cedaredge. Gates for the game will open at 9:30 a.m.
As with the Friday evening ceremony, all visitors, both home and away, will be screened. Everyone is asked to wear a face covering and practice social distancing while in the stadium. Booster Clubs will be selling Pirate gear at the game and concessions will be available on a limited basis.