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Old bleachers to cushion new fans

| Wednesday, April 3, 2002

TARENTUM: Rather than having the old bleachers from Nick J. Staresinic Stadium in Harrison taken to a scrap yard and melted down, Highlands School District found another way to recycle the metal seats.

On Tuesday afternoon Tarentum Borough employees were ripping out some of the wooden seats at Dreshar Stadium and installing the "new" rain-proof seats, donated by the school district.

The district also gave some of the bleachers to the Highlands Hornets Youth Football organization. The group is hoping to build a new facility in Harrison at Burtner and Karns roads.

Highlands School District is building a new stadium at the site of its former track field.

"One man's trash is another man's treasure," Tarentum Borough Secretary Jeff Thomas said while standing at Dreshar Stadium.

He said borough employees picked up the seats in the fall and began installing them Monday. Thomas said there should be enough seats to cover about half of the standards along the First Avenue side.

"To me it was great the school district did that," Thomas said. "They were able to help out a neighboring community."

Some of the wooden seats that are ripped out and are in good condition will be used to replace seats that weren't treated with preservatives and are rotting.

Dreshar Stadium, built in 1940, is rock solid. But, like many of the Tarentum Redcats who played in the stadium its first year, Dreshar is beginning to show its age.

Thomas said the borough is looking for grant money to refurbish all of the bleachers and put a new fence around the stadium. The fence is in poor condition and falling apart in some places.

The borough secretary also said he hopes to have trees and shrubs cleared from the riverbank along the far side of the stadium.

Dreshar stadium is home to activities such as youth baseball, youth football, fireworks and a summer festival.

"I want this to be a safe place for everybody," Thomas said. "It's a nice stadium for a small community like this."

Highlands Athletic Director Bill Heasley and school board President Tim McCue said they're happy to help out Tarentum.

"It's nice to be able to give it to someone in the district that could use it," Heasley said.

McCue said the bleachers were included in the bid and would have been given to the contractor to be used for scrap metal. He said he didn't know how much the district lost by not giving the contractor the bleachers, but he said it was minimal.

"It's something we can do. It didn't cost anyone a lot of money," McCue said.

"And if it helps Tarentum, that's good."

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