Posted: Aug 21, 2014 2:01 PM by Mary Kate Burgess, KOMU 8 Sports
Updated: Aug 24, 2014 8:16 PM
MEXICO, MO - The facilities at Hawthorne Heights are immaculate. However, there used to be an eyesore right above the football field that had been there since 1992.
The old press box at Mexico High School was "full of mold, structurally the integrity of it had be compromised over the years, decay, rot, water that had leaked down into it over the course of time," Mitch Ridgway, Director of Operations at Mexico High School said.
The old press box was originally constructed of two construction trailers that were connected together.
"It also wasn't big enough for our purposes," Ridgway said. "It was about half the size we needed it to be."
The new press box is a beautiful white color with red trim and the school's name emblazoned on top. Ridgway said the vision for the press box was safety and for it to last.
"Well, first we wanted it to look a lot better than the old one did," Ridgway said with a chuckle. "And we wanted it to be safe."
Ridgway and Athletic Director Jeff Anderson said the planning process of the press box project took three or four years before they were able to get to the building stage.
"We looked at the old structure and decided that the old structure just couldn't be repaired," Ridgway said. "It was going to be more cost effective to replace it."
The total cost of the project was $237,000 dollars, but $104,000 of that money was donated by various non-profit organizations in the community.
The new press box is two stories, with a view of the softball field from the back. There are rooms for visiting radio hosts, scouts, and media members.
Anderson said he was excited for the football, softball and track and field teams to be able to use the new press box.
"The Hawthorne Heights complex is just unbelievably amazing," Anderson said. "Great track, great football facility, and now a great press box."
Both Ridgway and Anderson expressed their sentiments about how the community has come together and how they hope this press box will do great things for the future.
"I'm hoping it will be a thing that will last for 50 years," Ridgway said. "It was expensive to do but it's something that is designed to last."
Anderson echoed those remarks and added that the community is very good at supporting all the programs at Mexico High School.