By Steven Penn
The school corporation here announced renovations to Brownsburg High School’s (BHS) C.F. Roark Stadium Wednesday, which marks the first of many steps toward completing the project.
On hand for the announcement and groundbreaking were Dr. Jim Snapp, Brownsburg Community School Corporation (BCSC) superintendent; Bill Estes, owner of Bill Estes Automotive; Chuck Jones, general sales manager at Bill Estes Chevrolet; Andy Wernsman, general manager at Bill Estes Ford; and Kim R. Lucas, BCSC school board member.
Per information provided by BCSC, the renovations to the stadium — which opened in 1966 — will include replacing the grass field with a synthetic turf surface, expanded seating, and a new home press box.
BCSC envisions the synthetic surface to serve many functions, such as providing a surface for BHS physical education classes, allowing the BHS band to practice and hold competitions, and providing a field for all levels of football and soccer.
According to BCSC, Bill Estes Automotive has agreed to sponsor and completely cover the cost of the surface renovation, and in turn, the field will be named BillEstes.com field.
Estes said the partnership is a way to connect with the community.
“We have always felt like we (should) be a part of the community,” he said. “Certainly our Ford dealership is a huge part of the Brownsburg community and now our Chevrolet area responsibility also includes Brownsburg. So it just makes sense to do the BillEstes.com (field), and obviously the technology is just a huge part of our business. Ninety percent of the people go to the website before they buy a car.”
Estes said he felt it was great opportunity to give back to the children of the community.
“... Being involved with the kids, that’s really what it’s about today. We are really fired up ... it’s really going to be fun. High school sports, and especially football, is huge in this market ... so it’s really, really special. It’s exciting; we’re really proud and pleased to be a part of it.”
The press box modifications will include updating the system to support multiple mediums, like radio, Internet, and television.
Currently, the stadium can hold approximately 2,500 fans, but with the expanded seating — depending on the bids for the bleacher project — capacity will increase by roughly 1,500 seats.
The corporation will also look into using the field and bleachers for future graduation ceremonies, due to the increase of students in each graduating class.
The cost of the press box and site development renovations will be covered through a sponsorship by Indiana University Health, and the BHS athletic fields will be part of the Indiana University Health Complex.
The cost of the bleacher renovations will be offset by the funds left over from the field and press box sponsorships, with the remaining balance being taken out of the corporation’s Rainy Day Fund, which is expected to be 25 to 35 percent of the entire project.
BCSC wanted to ensure the community that no new taxes will be collected and taxes will not increase due to the project.
The corporation expects the construction bids to begin being awarded at the Dec. 10 school board meeting. The final cost of the improvements will not be known until January, when all the bids will have been awarded.