Monday, February 26, 2001

Lebanon boosters finishing fieldhouse

By Jennifer Mrozowski
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Next year's Lebanon High School football team will be the first to use a new fieldhouse built and paid for almost entirely by volunteers.

        The fieldhouse, in the planning stages for eight years, has been used by high school weightlifting classes since January.

        Come fall when it is officially dedicated, it will be used for weightlifting for all sports teams, football coaches' offices and training.

        The fieldhouse would have cost the district as much as $600,000 if the school board had to bid out the project, Superintendent Bill Sears said. Tom Amburgy, a Lebanon construction company owner who led the building project, estimates his cost between $150,000 and $200,000.

        Lebanon City School district has been tight on space for years. It's asking taxpayers to pass a $50 million bond issue in May for building.

        With the fieldhouse far down the priority list, a family known for its support of athletics decided to jump-start the building project.

        Mr. Amburgy, Lebanon boosters club president for the past three years and a 1976 Lebanon High School graduate, decided to tackle the fieldhouse first envisioned by his mother, Kay, who died in 1990. Mrs. Amburgy served as boosters president in the 1970s, her son said.

        The need to finish the project became important this year when the high school weight room was turned into a classroom because of space restrictions.

        Mr. Amburgy, owner of Tom Amburgy Co. Inc., rounded up about 30 community members and Lebanon businessman Brad Norris.

        “We're not a family that has money,” Mr. Amburgy said. “We raise money and we do the work.”

        Mr. Norris became the chief fund-raiser, securing more than $150,000.

        Other help came from contractors Mr. Amburgy has worked with. Eventually, he had donations for electrical work, cement, wood and labor.

        About four years after the fund-raising and building began, the 6,000-square-foot building is nearly complete and is scheduled to be finished in May.

        The building has full shower facilities, a locker room and rooms for coaches, training and referees.


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