New concession stand to be served up at BAHSFacility will be located at Dennis 'Bear' Bryant Field
Belfast — The Belfast Area High School athletic boosters have been hard at work raising funds for a significant upgrade to Dennis “Bear” Bryant Field — and the group appears close to achieving its goal.
Gone from the north end of the football/soccer/track-and-field facility is the old wooden concession stand and in its place is the foundation for a newer model made of cinder blocks, a building which will function as an upgraded concession stand as well include men's and women's bathrooms.
The project cost about $50,000, with around $37,000 already having been raised.
“With the current budget constraints on athletic programs, it is incumbent upon the parents, community leaders, and businesses to shoulder this responsibility in manpower and fundraising,” stated the booster's club in a recent press release.
“These facilities are needed for the boys and girls soccer, high school and middle school track, football, and field hockey programs, as well as school functions such as graduation.”
The new building is roughly 22 feet by 37 feet and also has a storage unit, in addition to both men's and women's bathrooms and the concession stand.
BAHS Sports Boosters president Martha Kulikowski, a 1983 graduate of the school, said the plan is for the building to be fully operational prior to the school's first home varsity football game on Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. versus Madison.
The boosters organized the second annual Lions' Pride Golf Tournament, which took place Aug. 16 at the Northport Golf Club.
Terry Whitney of the Northport Golf Club anticipated to raise “close to $11,000 before expenses” at the tournament. He said “the contributions from the community have been overwhelming.”
“We've got people that have donated their time [and] materials,” said Whitney, a 1969 BAHS graduate. “This golf tournament we were looking for 25 sponsors and we got over 45 sponsors. It's just been incredible what people have stepped up and done here.”
Kulikowski, in her third year as boosters club president, said fundraising efforts for the project began two years ago.
“It was in really bad shape,” she said of the old concession building. “The floor was borderline rotten, kind of soft and it was not an enclosed building so critters could get in. In the offseason you'd had to go in there and really do a good cleaning before you could use it. There was no running water, no heat. It just wasn't [good].”
The lack of running water was a major concern, as those working the concession stands would have to place a bucket under the sink and periodically dump the bucket outside the building.
“Concessions are really the primary source of income for the boosters,” she said. “Other than the fundraising [for the building] we've been doing lately. That's really how we make our money to support our teams.”
“You go to other schools and they have these really nice buildings,” she said. “It was definitely time.”
Kulikowski said another bonus with the outside bathroom facilities is BAHS will not have to remain open, offering bathrooms to fans.
The fundraising effort has come from several sources, including the boosters' general fund, bottle drives, donations from classes, 50/50 raffles and several alumni, including one who has contributed “probably over $10,000,” said Kulikowski.
“We've been putting everything we've been getting right into this,” she said.
Kulikowski, who has one child who graduated from the school and another entering his junior year, said a sense of school pride also factored into the decision for the new building.
“When you go to our football field and you see this dilapidated old building and the paint is worn and I think even the left side of the roof is rotting ... I mean what does that say about us?” she said. “We looked at that [old building] and said, 'Yeah, we can definitely do better.' ”
Associate Sports Director
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Mark has been covering local sports throughout Knox, Waldo and part of Lincoln county since 2007. He has a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from the University of Maine and is also a 2000 graduate of Rockland District High School.
Mark is an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox, fantasy sports, the AMC drama "Breaking Bad" and iced coffee.
He resides in Thomaston with his wife Jenn and sons Beckett and Austin.
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