June 20, 2012 - Construction has begun on the Clarkston High School fieldhouse after their groundbreaking last Friday.
Supporters come out for the ceremony, June 15. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
"We had a lot of hurdles to jump over and knock down," said Kurt Richardson, head coach of the Clarkston Wolves Varsity Football team. "Sometimes we were wondering if it was going to happen. It is a good example of what we tell the kids; we ran into adversity, and we didn't give up. We kept fighting for it."
The structure will house team locker rooms for all the Clarkston athletic teams and will also be used for the marching band. It will include a larger concession stand to serve fans. It will also be more accessible to all patrons.
The groundbreaking was set after the Clarkston Board of Education approved Clarkston Athletic Booster's request to take out a $300,000 loan, voting on June 11, 6-0. The plan was approved last July by the board.
"It is a nice way to keep the community connected in difficult times," said Cheryl McGinnis, board president. "We can all come together for something that benefits everyone. Because, really, what do I do on a Friday night? I go to the football games. There are plenty of senior citizens here who come to the football games, come to the band invitationals and have no connection to what is going on in the district."
Richardson added they had a lot of people give them a boost before construction began, including Clarkston Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Rod Rock and Wolves' defensive coordinator Tony Miller.
"Pat Callahan and Mick Goik came up huge for us," Richardson said. "These aren't football people - they are community people. That is a big thing; this is a community project."
McGinnis agreed and added, "those who don't have money to give will give their time and their talent. I can't say enough about the efforts of the people. I am so proud to live in Clarkston. "
Karen Nicklin added USA Insulation, owned by two athletic fathers, is also pitching in.
"They are offering a donation for everyone that has USA Insulation do a quote," she said. "Any purchases made, they will make another donation."
More fundraisers are planned to help pay off the loan. Some coming up include a euchre event in August, and a formal dinner and dance in the fall. Athletic cookbooks and spirit wear will also be sold with funds going towards the field house.
Brick pavers are still available, and the orders in by June 30 will be laid for the grand opening.
"We are also looking for help to find alumni," Nicklin said, adding they are making an alumni wall.
For more information check Clarkston Field House on Facebook, www.clarkston.k12.mi.us/football, or www.clarkstonfieldhouse.com.
Richardson added they are shooting for construction to be finished by the varsity football team's opener, Aug. 24.
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.