Buckeye Local expresses interest in stadium bleachers

NEWELL-Bleachers from Newell Memorial Field may soon find a new home in nearby Jefferson County.

Buckeye Local Schools, in Dillonvale, Ohio, south of Steubenville, have expressed an interest in the stadium seating that is sitting idle on the Newell property and at the old Jimmy Carey Stadium in Weirton, said Hancock County Commissioner Dan Greathouse.

“We’re going to sit down within the next week and go over how we’re doing this,” Greathouse said. “Whether we scrap them or whether we accept bids. We have to figure that out.”

The commissioner said he was contacted recently by Sam Jones, athletic director for Buckeye Local, about the possibility of selling the bleachers.

Jones said he contacted Superintendent Suzan Smith about the equipment in the fall, when he learned about the pending stadium sale. “I expressed my interest in trying to buy the bleachers for our junior high field,” he said. “We have a junior high football field that doesn’t have much seating or bleachers.”

Buckeye Local is in the same athletic conference-the Buckeye Mountain Conference-as Hancock County Schools, Jones said. “It was just a word-of-mouth thing that they were building new stadiums,” he said.

The Hancock County school board declared the stadiums surplus property in June with the expected completion of new multi-sports complexes at Oak Glen High School and Weir High School. Both complexes opened for the new football season in August.

After several false starts, including an unsuccessful public auction bid by the Chester Volunteer Fire Department in October, the school board finally sold the stadiums to the Hancock County commissioners in December for $400,000. The sale, which was finalized as the year ended, included all fencing, bleachers, lighting and press boxes.

Commissioners hope to market the properties for economic development purposes in concert with the Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle.

Greathouse said he has not received any other inquiries about the stadium equipment.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Jeff Davis is researching scrap opportunities and will report back to the commission soon, Greathouse said.