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Volunteers, donations lead to renovation at Gregg Lemaster Field
Gregg Lemaster Field will have a new look when the Pierce High football team hosts its season opener against Esparto on Aug. 30.
A project to raise the home grandstand several feet above field level began this summer and should be finished in time for the first game, Pierce principal George Griffin said.
The project is just one of many renovations spearheaded by several groups of parents and volunteers who raised money, donated resources and did most of the work. Improvements are being done to the baseball diamond, softball diamond, girls soccer field and the gymnasium.
All told, an estimated $83,000 worth of work will be done at the school, but only about $4-5,000 of that will come out of school funds, Griffin said. The rest was raised by community members or saved through work done by volunteers.
Pierce football coach Scott Burnum said the renovations to the football stadium will provide the community with a better view of the field and will give the players a little extra home field advantage.
"Raising the stands up will make it louder on the visiting side of the field," Burnum said.
The actual cost of the Lemaster Field project will be around $23,000, but it would be closer to $50,000 without all of the work and equipment donated by the volunteers, Griffin said.
"All of the earth-moving equipment has been donated and operated by volunteers. Most of the cement on the football field came from donations and fundraising efforts. The support of our community and our boosters made it possible to get this done," Griffin said.
A group of parents renovated the baseball infield last school year, and this year the softball diamond will receive similar treatment.
The softball field will be moved a few dozen feet to the west, the infield will be redone and dugouts installed. The baseball diamond will have dugouts installed at the same time, Griffin said.
Moving the softball diamond to the west will allow the girls soccer field, which is also used as a practice field for several other sports, to expand.
Like the Lemaster Field renovations, volunteers will shave quite a bit of money off the cost of the baseball and softball field project, which Griffin estimates would cost about $25,000 but only about $15,000 will be spent due to the work provided by the community.
Another group of parents raised about $8,000 to purchase a new scoreboard for the gymnasium and the old scoreboard will be moved to the other side of the gym where the existing scoreboard shows little information, Griffin said.
The outpouring of support from the community to make the projects happen is a testament to the dedication of the entire community surrounding Pierce High, Griffin said.
"We will be doing something at some point where I will be thanking those people," Griffin said.
CONTACT Kirk Barron at 458-2121 or firstname.lastname@example.org