Philadelphia High School upgrading its press box

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The football stadium at Philadelphia High School will look a little different when the Tornadoes play their first game.

The two-story press box on the home side has been torn down and will be placed by new prefabricated building.

The city School Board is seeking bids for the project. Plans show that the building will be 36 feet long and 16 feet wide. The first floor will be enclosed with air conditioning and heating. The second floor will be open and will accommodate filming crews.

The new press box was designed by PyorMorrow of Columbus.

"We have needed more room in the old press box for a long time," Philadelphia superintendent Lisa Hull said. "We needed a place for officials, the press, visiting coaches and we just haven't had it. Also, it needed repairs. So, the board decided to replace it with a new building."

The old press box has long been a fixture at the stadium which was named Harpole Field in honor of Philadelphia's first football coach, Jeff Davis Harpole, who organized the first Philadelphia, football team in 1906. Harpole was a pharmacist for Turner Drug Store.

According to school history, the first games were played at Fulton's fields, south of Main Street along the railroad tracks. The ground for the current field was cleared in 1920. The concrete stadium was built by public donations and cost $4,000. It was paid off in 1952. Before, fans sat in wooden stands.

The new press box is not expected to be completed by the start of football season in August. Hull said a temporary building will be used until its completion.

"It is going to depend on the backlog the contractor has and when he can get to it," Dr. Hull said. "We are looking forward to getting this done. It will be a great addition to our facility."


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