Huntington County Community School Corporation announced its plans Tuesday to construct a multi-purpose outdoor athletic facility to replace Kriegbaum Field.
The school district – which had been in a legal battle until May of 2020 with the Kriegbaum family on the repurposing of the current facility and the land it sits on to the north of the high school campus across from Jefferson Street – will begin construction on the project in May and is projected to be completed late this fall.
The new stadium project will operate under an estimated $7.5 million budget and will be constructed on the campus of Huntington North High School near the east end of the field house.
Highlights of the facility will include artificial turf, a nine-lane latex track, LED lighting, seating for 2,500 home and 450 visiting fans and a new press box, scoreboard and sound system.
A new softball facility will also be constructed as part of the project.
According to an HCCSC press release, there several health and safety concerns with Kriegbaum Field, originally built in 1929.
“The bleachers at Kriegbaum Field do not meet the ADA compliance standards and are a safety hazard for fans,” the press release said. “The bleacher steps at Kriegbaum Field have caused a number of falls due to their 12-inch height. The visiting locker room features a crack in the structure that allows for water to drip into the locker room, while leaks in the roof and windows in the home locker room have caused water damage.
“The locker rooms also lack proper ventilation, leading to a bad smell throughout the locker room facilities. Additionally, the playing surface does not cater to soccer, as the field is not wide enough to hold a regulation-size soccer field.”
The release also addressed the lack of parking, as well as the fans needing to cross a busy state highway to reach the facility, as well as the inability for students to reach the field easily for classes during the school day.
Funding for the stadium project comes from a bond that was received in 2018 that also helped the school district construct the new Roanoke Elementary School building and other projects.
There will not be any new taxes to fund the stadium project.