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Owens Field to make comeback in style

Brian C. Rittmeyer
| Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Apollo-Ridge Education Foundation is planning events to celebrate the reconstruction of Owens Field.

Demolition at the historic facility began in April, and construction of the $3.5 million stadium is expected to be finished in late September.

A "Hard Hat Tour" scheduled for Aug. 21 will allow residents to see the stadium before its grand opening, and sample some of the food that will be sold during football games.

Members of the foundation will receive invitations to participate in tours on the hour beginning at noon. Walk-up tours will be conducted on the half-hour for non-members.

The Touchdown Club's dunk tank will be there. Many of Apollo-Ridge's booster clubs and student organizations will have activities, food and other merchandise on sale prior to the start of school.

Tours will be conducted by students Marcus Hepler and Zackery Hill, who are using the stadium renovation as the subject of their senior projects.

The students are photographing the project's progress and job-shadowing the clerk of the works, who meets once or twice a week with them, walking them through the construction site and giving them first-hand knowledge of how a project of this magnitude is developed and managed, said Cristine Kostiuk, Apollo-Ridge administrative assistant.

The students will develop a presentation to be shown at a "Black Tie Affair," a reservation-only pre-opening event planned for Sept. 23. There will be hors d'oeuvres and guided tours by Hepler and Hill.

A mini-museum of memorabilia from the stadium's past will be on display, and guests will receive a book of photos and memories as a keepsake.

George Guido, author of "Alle-Kiski Sports History: A Century of Sports in Western Pennsylvania's A-K Valley," will talk about the historical significance of Owens Field and sign copies of his book.

There is no cost for the Hard Hat tours.

A ticket price for the Black Tie Affair has not been set, Kostiuk said. Education Foundation members will receive priority access to tickets and reservations.

The foundation will use proceeds from the events to fund grants awarded to Apollo-Ridge teachers for innovative classroom programs.

The minimum cost to join the foundation is $25 for an annual membership and $100 for a lifetime membership.

Residents have until July 31 to apply and receive ticket offers for the stadium events.

The football team is scheduled to have its first game on the renovated field on Sept. 24.

Additional Information:

Memorabilia search

The Apollo-Ridge Education Foundation is looking for memorabilia related to the former Owens Field stadium for a scrapbook and mini-museum.

Photographs and footballs; majorette, colorguard, cheerleading or band equipment; or anything related to the stadium will be accepted and returned to the owner.

Written memories of events such as touchdown passes, marching under the lights or kisses under the bleachers will also be accepted.

All submissions should be sent to the attention of Cris Kostiuk at the Apollo-Ridge Education Foundation, 1825 Route 56, Spring Church, PA 15686.

Written stories can be submitted by mail or e-mail.

For information, contact Kostiuk by e-mail or at 724-478-6010.

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