The Duncan High football team plays its first game Friday, and Athletic Director Burl White hopes the new press box is competed by then.
“It’s great looking,” White said. “I’m hoping it gets done in time. Everyone’s telling me it will.”
Work on the press box began in June. And since that time, the original structure has been dismantled and a new structure constructed. The work began the Monday following Relay For Life in June. The organization uses Halliburton Stadium and the press box most years.
Maintenance funds are dedicated to the construction of the press box. The Duncan Board of Education approved the project in April with a price tag of $564,340.
Because the project is using the original pillars, the new construction is being seen more as a renovation than the construction of a new structure. This helps to reduce the cost to build the two deck press box.
White said a lot of progress has been made on the project in the past week, but it will be the next three to five days that could matter most, especially with the first game looming days away. The first game will be played against Guthrie at Halliburton Stadium.
Among things needing to be completed is the electricity for the press box.
“I’m just talking about the basics to play a ball game,” White said.
Superintendent Sherry Labyer said everything essential to running the press box should be completed by Thursday, allowing the press box to be used for Friday night’s football game.
“It’s going very well,” Labyer said. “It will be usable by the home game Friday night. It won’t be complete. We won’t have graphics done. We should have the electric and sound done. We’re cautiously optimistic.”
Labyer said there are concerns about getting some essential items done because of the Labor Day holiday.
“It’s a day people usually take off,” she said. “If something isn’t done, we’ll go to Plan B. If something is an inconvenience, we’ll go to Plan B. There won’t be anything unsafe.”
White said the new construction, when completed, will be a vast improvement over the original press box.
“You can’t compare them,” he said. “It (the old press box) probably passed its usefulness 30 years ago.”
He said the new press box will be safer than the original. Rotted floors are gone. Water damaged walls have been torn away. The narrow, twisting staircase has been removed.
“They’ve done a great job putting it together,” White said.
White said he is a bit apprehensive about having the press box done by the first home game. It wasn’t completed by a scrimmage against Lawton High School on Aug. 29. That scrimmage used Halliburton Stadium.
With five days remaining, White hopes to at least get the basics out of the way.
“We’re just needing it done by the first ball game,” White said. “I’ve been told it will be.”