SALEM - The Salem Community Foundation will cover the $34,500 cost to build a replica of the original ticket booth for Reilly Stadium, bringing the Reilly Wall Committee closer to its goal for the west side project.
"We are very appreciative of this generous contribution. Our goal has always been to keep the integrity of this beautiful stadium, which is a very popular historic landmark in Salem. We are hoping to start the project sometime next year," Salem Preservation Society President and committee member Keith Berger said.
The committee's plans include building the ticket booth and a replica of the old north wall, along with the addition of a Dedication Park which will include benches and trees and commemorative pavers.
"The Dedication Park has been extremely popular with hundreds of people/classes purchasing pavers in memory or in honor of a family member or classmate. Many SHS graduates have purchased a paver commemorating the year they graduated," a project press release said.
Pavers in sizes 4 x 8 and 8 x 8 remain available for purchase, with cards available to announce a gift. All donations are tax deductible. Call Karen Carter at 330-332-4959 for information about donating to the project or purchasing pavers.
The Salem Preservation Society joined forces with the Salem City Board of Education to try to preserve some of the history surrounding Reilly Stadium, with plans originally calling for the group to raise funds to cover the replacement of the north wall facing Pershing Street, part of the east-facing wall behind the band shell and complete the ticket booth and replica wall with the Dedication Park.
Citing safety concerns, the school board in January decided to foot the bill for taking down the north wall and putting up a temporary fence. This summer, the board and the Reilly Wall Committee agreed to alter the original plans, with the board handling the north side and part of the east side and the committee handling the west side.
The board opened bids for construction of a north wall which will include replica wrought iron ornamental fencing in between pillars of brick, covering the cost with permanent improvement funds.