Last Friday afternoon the yellow school buses rolled to a stop in front of the Lake school complex to drop off students for the pep rally that was held on the school’s new football field.
Normally the students would have just exited from their classrooms and walked to the stadium. The fact that there was a gaping hole in what was once a continuous building that connected the elementary, middle and high schools was a stark reminder of the devastation that the June 5 tornado wreaked on the school and the normal everyday lives of the Lake students.
The pep rally was held to allow the student to be in the stadium for the first time since it was destroyed. In place of the natural grass was a new synthetic turf field sporting the school colors and monogram.
According to Lee Herman, principal of the middle and high schools, the original field was riddled with debris from the destroyed school buildings. Glass and metal shards, nails, screws and all sorts of other scrap materials were embedded so deeply into the soil – up to six inches down -- that it was virtually impossible to remove it all in order to provide a safe playing surface.
Construction on the new state-of-the-art artificial turf field began in late July by Maumee Bay Turf Center, which is based in Oregon.
Going all out, the field was installed just in time for the Flyer’s home opener against rival Northwood.
Prior to the start of the game, the new stadium was rededicated. Executives for the Lowe’s corporation, representatives of Owens Community College and Rudolph-Libbey, and a host of local police and fire first-responders were on hand to officially kick off the new season.