LEWISBURG — Tri-County North Local Schools hosted a dedication ceremony for its new track and turf on Thursday, Aug. 18, at TCN’s Miami Valley North Field.
TCN Athletic Director Tony Augspurger welcomed the public to the celebration.
“We’re excited to recognize all the work that’s been done down here and share in a community celebration with the Tri-County North community,” he said.
Augspurger said looking out at the field in the past, it had a great atmosphere. “But it had a slight water problem. And occasionally, it turned into a river, a lake, a pond, or all of the above. When I came on board one thing we talked about was that we really needed a new track. Our track had potholes in it that could swallow a small child and was something that wasn’t safe.”
After two years of discussion, Augspurger said Superintendent Bill Derringer came to him this past spring, and said they were looking at replacing the track and the possibility of getting a turf field.
“It’s something that I believe is a shining jewel for our school and our community,” Augsperger added, noting, “We have every other small school in the area completely envious of what we have.”
Derringer thanked everyone who had worked over the years to make the TCN athletic facilities what they are today, including Village of Lewisburg officials and the TCN Board of Education, Treasurer Lynn Ferguson, and others.
“A lot of people have asked ‘How are you funding this? Are you going to have to run a levy or what are you doing?’” Derringer said. “And I’m going to share with you the revenue sources for this project. We received some federal money that some of you may have heard or heard about. We used some of that — we were allowed to use that for the track. We had some casino revenue. So if you go gambling at a casino, thank you very much for that. We did use some money out of our permanent improvement funds. And we used some General Fund money.
“Without Lynn’s vision and without her being able to manage the funds as well as she does in our district, we would not have been able to have the funds to be able to do this project,” Derringer continued. “So I want to recognize Lynn Ferguson.”
Derringer also recognized Augspurger, and other support staff for their work in making the project a reality.
The school’s intent is to utilize the new track and turf not only for competitions, “but also during the day for phys-ed classes, after school for practices for our band and our athletic teams, and even open it up for our community to utilize and walk on the track when our athletes are not down here,” Derringer told those in attendance.
According to Derringer, video surveillance will be utilized to protect the new track and turf. “I want to encourage anyone that wants to come down once we get the track completed, if our athletes are not down here or the kids aren’t down here for school for phys-ed, to come on down and walk on the track if you choose. I do want to share that in order to protect our investment, we currently already have several surveillance cameras covering the field and the track,” Derringer said.
“We plan on adding additional cameras and we plan on adding some additional lighting down here, just to protect our investment. So, I want to notify everyone, if you come down here you will be under video surveillance 24-7.”
Derringer also noted, the school is also asking that no one walks on or uses the turf without consent of TCN, but for the special dedication evening, everyone was invited to walk on it to “see how awesome it feels.”
During the event, district officials invited back and honored any TCN alumni who had played football or soccer, run track, cheered, or marched in the TCN band on the school’s field.
The evening included a community pep rally before the Panthers opened the football season at home on Friday, Aug. 19.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr.