Making way for improvements Bond Groundbreaking ceremony start of several projects for WOCCISD

Published 11:08 pm Saturday, March 2, 2019

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


Described as several as a historic event, a groundbreaking at Leroy D. Breedlove Field at Dan R. Hooks Stadium at West Orange-Stark High School officially launched the bond projects.

Work at the site will include installing football field turf. The project is expected to be completed in time for graduation ceremonies in May 2019.

“This is the groundbreaking for the entire project,” Superintendent Rickie Harris said on Thursday afternoon.

Despite the drizzling rain, spirits were high as people awaited the start of the ceremony.

Since the $25.75 million bond was approved Nov. 6, 2018, all of the bond projects have been scheduled into a multi-phase timeline that provides as little disruption to students/classrooms as possible.

The first round of bonds were sold in January at a lower than projected interest rate, thus benefiting WOCCISD stakeholders.

Plans and designs for other bond projects are on-going.

“This is a small part of the Bond Project,” President of the WOCCISD Board of Trustees Ruth Hancock said. “It is a more visible one but pales in comparison to others. It’s a great day to be a Mustang.”

Coach Cornel Thompson said he was there when the field stadium was first constructed.

“This is a historic day here,” Thompson began. “Why can’t our kids have what other kids have? This will help bring more students, more athletes.”

He then laughed as he said he was looking for some more defensive linemen and tight ends.

Mrs. Breedlove was also present during the event.

“I thank everybody for making this happen,” Breedlove said.

The field was named Leroy D. Breedlove Field on Sept. 23, 2016.

Breedlove was a retired WOCCISD athletic coach and physical education instructor who worked at multiple district campuses from 1964 -1998. During his tenure, he served at M.B. North High School, M.B. North Middle School, Stark High School, and at West Orange-Stark Intermediate, Middle, and High School campuses. His assignments included football, basketball, and track, as well as mathematics in his early years as an educator.

He passed away in Feb. 2017.

Other projects to be completed during Round One include:

  • Security – $800,000
  • Middle School roof replacement – $350,000
  • Fencing around Career Center – $60,000
  • High School signage – $15,000
  • High School chill water piping insulation – $33,000
  • Stadium seating – $50,000
  • Visitor parking drive – $65,000
  • Competition gym flooring & lighting – $200,000

The second part of Round One is expected to start in June 2019 and includes:

  • Update classroom furniture – $1,300,000
  • Technology – $1,900,000
  • High School building “A” roof replacement – $480,000
  • Early College High School – $75,000
  • Genre library – $50,000
  • Math & computer lab updates – $175,000
  • Baseball & softball facilities and football turf – $3,300,000
  • North Early Learning Center parking lot – $100,000
  • Bleacher replacements – $150,000
  • HVAC controls – $650,000