***image1***Renovations to the Ramstein American High School Stadium were completed May 13 and the stadium hosted its first track meet Saturday.
The $1.4 million project was completed just in time for Ramstein, which is currently hosting the European soccer and softball championships.
The renovations to the stadium included a new track, an underground sprinkler system, a brand new press box and state-of-the-art bleachers.
The new concrete bleachers, which are also wheelchair accessible, have built-in restrooms underneath them. This prevents the school having to be unlocked for weekend events.
“It’s a fine product,” said Len Tarnowski, RAHS athletic director and varsity basketball coach. “The track is wonderful and it’s a much cleaner facility.”
The seven-month project left the Ramstein spring athletes scrambling for places to play and practice. Donnelly park, Sembach, Landstuhl Atzel Field and other local venues allowed the high school to have practice and host events.
“It was a great effort by a lot of people and the kids have rolled with the punches very well,” said coach Tarnowski.
The renovation project had been talked about for six or seven years; it just took a while for the funds to line up, said Dr. Barbara Ferg-Carter, RAHS principal.
“The stadium was over 20 years old, the track and bleachers were unsafe; it was time for a change,” said Dr. Ferg-Carter.
The stadium, which also carries a built-in imbiss, will host many events coming in the future.
On top of the current European championships Ramstein will also host the European Football Championships in the fall.
“I want to say on behalf of the athletes, (Department of Defense Dependant Schools Europe) and the military, we now have a class-act facility for sports that we all are very grateful for and proud of,” said Dr. Ferg-Carter.