EAST LIVERPOOL - The home of East Liverpool football received a facelift, and the public showed its support on Thursday.
Patterson Field was open to the public for the stadium's renovation dedication, which was held at the main entrance and featured music and cheers by the East Liverpool High School marching band, choir and cheerleaders.
The dedication also featured comments from Superintendent James Herring, athletic director Bob Shansky and football coach Rick Prescott.
"This is a beautiful facility. This is a top notch A-1 program," Herring said. "This is something the community should be proud of, and I want to thank you for all your effort."
Shansky also showed hometown pride during the dedication.
"If you've been around as long as I have, there's nothing like this in the valley," Shansky said. "Our kids appreciate it, and if you've seen these, I know you'd appreciate it, too."
Herring was pleased with the way the event went.
"I thought we had a good turnout," Herring said. "The turnout was good, the weather was great. You couldn't ask for a better day than this."
The general consensus from those who toured the new facilities was very positive and of pride.
"We have these amazing facilities, all remodeled and tiled," Bob Estell, board vice president, said.
"You can't ask for a better stadium than this," Shansky said. "It was well done. It took a little longer, but it stands out for the community."
The community's help was also appreciated by board member Larry Walton.
"The local people who did all of this did a great job," Walton said. "The players painted those lockers themselves. The volunteers painted around the entrance."
Board president Janice Martin, who unveiled the plaque on the home team locker rooms, also enjoyed the improvements.
"Everything here is new. It's as nice as you can make it," Martin said. "It took a little longer than we hoped, but it's nice and bright."
East Liverpool Mayor Jim Swoger also came out in support of the improvements.
"It's nice and clean," Swoger said. "I'm proud of it. It's one of the great fields in the valley."
The stadium project was the largest undertaking for the school system, costing approximately $1.3 million for renovations, including locker rooms, restrooms and the field's irrigation. Board treasurer Todd Puster felt that, with the cost and problems that were brought, the upgrades serve a great benefit.
"We had started in 2010, and of the seven projects this was the big one," Puster said. "The field had to be rehabilitated as well as the playing surface. We're very fortunate to have this facilities for them."
The football team was very happy also with the new facilities. Coach Prescott sees the new and improved locker rooms as a step in the right direction.
"Our kids are very excited," Prescott said. "From the old locker room layout, it wasn't very functional. Now it's very functional. This is where we can meet and watch films."
The locker rooms are now located on the hill near the entrance of the stadium. With new tiled floors for easy cleaning and an elevated location, teams can enjoy a new cleanliness that was not experienced in seasons past.
Senior inside linebacker John Miscuk and fullback/linebacker John Rickerd enjoy the new and improved facilities.
"It's a good look for us," Miscuk said. "They're way better, cleaner, and it's an easier path to the field."
"It is a huge change for us," Rickerd said. "Last year, the water was everywhere. This year, it is so clean. This is where we want to be."
Shansky also noted the rave reviews from visiting teams Indian Creek and Salem.
"The visiting teams even cleaned up after they used the locker rooms," Shansky said. "They commented on how well they like them."
Attendees afterwards were invited to watch the football team's practice before their game against Cambridge tonight. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.