School takes stadium handoff
COLUMBIANA — When the city announced that the football stadium and the baseball and softball fields in Firestone Park would be transferred to the school district, it solved an existing issue that’s been going on for years.
Columbiana is one of two school systems in Ohio that has a school athletic facility in a public park. The issue for the park for many years has been maintaining the facilities. Ron Detwiler, president of the park board, attended Tuesday’s school board meeting to update the board on what the stadium transfer would mean.
“The school, city and park have a tremendously good operational relationship between the three entities, which is rare,” Detwiler said. “It’s our goal to keep that relationship intact while we do this.”
Detwiler emphasized that while the facilities are going to be turned over to the schools, the park board still adheres to the rules and regulations set up by Harvey Firestone back in 1934.
The main advantage that the transfer provides is the school’s ability to pursue grants in order to keep the area in good shape.
“Long story short, we’ve worked on turning those facilities over to the school,” Detwiler said. “It opens up funding opportunities for the school to go out and come up with money to maintain those facilities. But we don’t want to change the relationship between the school, park and city.”
The third reading of the transfer will be held at the next city council meeting. The next school board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. July 28.