Many Montesano High School sports fans will get their first chance to scout out the place they will be spending at least four Friday nights this fall, when the district opens up the newly finished grandstand at Rottle Field for an open house from 4-5:30 p.m. on Aug. 28.
The grandstand at Rottle Field was burned to the ground by a fire in September of 2012. The history and tradition of the old stands went up in flames in a case that remains unsolved to this day, but fans have been eager to start a new history with the construction project for a new grandstand on the same sight. Originally, the date for completion of the project was October of 2013, but defects in the concrete risers that support the wooden benches in the grandstand delayed the construction.
The last coat of paint went onto the new facility at the end of February, and on March 18 fans were finally able to use the stands for the first time when the Montesano boys soccer team played Tenino.
Montesano School District Superintendent Dan Winter said because the grandstand was used all through the boys soccer season during the spring, district officials decided against doing a full dedication, but still wanted to allow the community the chance to see the finished project before the fall sports season begins.
“People can go up into the press box or check out the storage underneath or anything they would want to see,” Winter said.
The open house for the grandstand will be on the same day as an open house for Simpson and Beacon elementary schools, but will be the day before fans will get the first chance to see the 2014 Monte Bulldogs football team during the jamboree at 6 p.m. on Aug. 29.
Those attending the open house will also get a chance to see the newly refurbished track at Rottle Field. The extreme heat put off by the fire in 2012 caused damage to the 100-meter stretch between the grandstand and the field and forced Monte to not be able to host a home track meet last year. Winter said insurance paid for the 100-meter stretch to be redone, but the district decided to go ahead and repair other parts of the track where there may have been damaged spots. Workers went over every inch of the track and repaired any holes or damaged spots before putting a sealant over the entire 400-meter surface. The lines were repainted earlier this week to complete the project. Winter said the entire amount spent on the refurbishing of the track was $57,000.
“It is not a brand-new track, but it looks like it is,” Winter said.
Overall, Winter said he is pleased with both projects turned out and is excited to get started on the next sports season at Rottle Field.
“We are really proud of how it turned out,” Winter said. “While it isn’t the same as the old one, I think it is a nice modern replacement and we will create new memories in this new grandstand.”