Work starts on new Harvard High School concession stand

HARVARD – District 50 is capitalizing on about $74,000 in donations to build a new concession stand in time for fall sports.

Work began this week at Harvard High School on the $422,000 project after crews demolished the old concession stand last week. In addition to the concession area, the new building will feature larger restrooms and include space to sell tickets and booster club items.

"I think it's going to help provide the fans and community with a nice facility that they've been getting by without," Director of Facilities Steve Miller said. "It's also going to provide our booster club with a nice place to work out of to raise funds for our students."

Booster club and ticket sales have been held outside previously, challenging workers during adverse weather. The district also had to place port-a-potties around the field to compliment the small restrooms of the old concession stand, a building that dated back at least 54 years and had been moved once in the 1980s, Miller said.

In all, the 1,700-square-foot building adds about 600-square-feet in space from the last concession stand. The size of the project and regulations that govern how buildings are constructed for efficiency drove the cost higher than expected for a concession stand, Miller said.

But the district secured donations of time and money, starting when the construction manager, Lamp Incorporated, agreed to donate in full its services to the project. Lamp has been working with the district on a two-year construction project at the high school and will continue its association during Jefferson School renovations.

From there, the district received partial donations from other contractors and secured funds from the booster club, Miller said.

Otherwise, "I don't think we would have had the funds left in our construction grant to cover the cost of the building," he said.

The remaining $349,000 for the project, which will come from the district, is made possible through leftover money from multiple construction grants, including a $13 million grant in 2008 that was tied to a successful $22 million referendum, District 50 Spokesman Bill Clow said.

Crews are starting to lay the foundation for the concession stand Wednesday.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of July.