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Armstrong Riverhawks sample band uniform displayed during school board meeting

| Friday, March 7, 2014, 1:21 a.m.
Ford City High School band director Jason Venesky displayed the proposed Armstrong Junior-Senior High School Riverhawks uniform during Armstrong School District board meeting on Thursday, March 6.
Ford City High School band director Jason Venesky displayed the proposed Armstrong Junior-Senior High School Riverhawks uniform during Armstrong School District board meeting on Thursday, March 6.

Officials hope the Armstrong Junior-Senior High School Riverhawks will march onto the field in style during their inaugural season, as administrators begin to shop around for the new school's uniforms.

The band is the first fall activity group that the district plans to begin outfitting at the new school.

Michael Cominos, principal at Ford City High School, said he and Ford City High School band director Jason Venesky worked with students to design a sample uniform, which they displayed during Thursday's school board meeting.

Venesky added they used a silver accent on the uniform's chest to represent a bend in the Allegheny River, and added metallic silver accents to reflect stadium lights.

Officials continue designing uniforms for junior high, junior varsity and varsity football, cross country, soccer, girls' volleyball and girls basketball, according to Michael Cominos, principal at Ford City High School.

The school is expected to be completed in June 2015 at a cost of $55 million. It will house about 1,775 students in grades seven through 12.

“It's an awful lot of uniforms we're going to need for the fall season,” Cominos said. “We've been working on these uniforms for the past several months, and decided we wanted something with a little bit of flash that would have a timeless look and feel.”

Cominos said the district plans to get prices for 120 marching band uniforms, which have a blue body, with an orange chest piece and sleeve and silver accents. The uniform includes a blue helmet with an orange plume.

Officials began designing the band uniforms first, because they are expected to last 10 to 15 years — the longest of all school-sponsored uniforms, Cominos said.

Superintendent Stan Chapp said district officials plan to seek contract bids for the uniforms this month.

“There are a lot of (specifications) in terms of material and style, so it's going to take a little bit of work,” Chapp said.

Cominos said he didn't know the uniform budget for the marching band, or any of the other sports.

The district's budget for this school year included $250,000 for band and sports uniforms.

During the next several months, officials plan to reveal additional uniforms, Cominos said. It's important officials begin designing uniforms now, so they will be ready in time for fall 2015.

“We don't want to have a mishmash of purple-and-gold, and red-and-white out on the football field,” he said, referring to Ford City's and Kittanning's respective school colors.

“We want something we can be proud of, and to be ready to play, and perform, as the Armstrong Riverhawks.”

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337, or bpedersen@tribweb.com.

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