The Lima City Schools’ renewed Spartan pride continues to gain momentum, most recently with the school board’s decision to change the name of the district’s stadium.
The former Lima Stadium will now be called Spartan Stadium.
Superintendent Jill Ackerman said the change follows along with an effort to increase Spartan pride both in the schools and community. That effort kicked into gear last school year when Lima Senior High School moved from the small schools concept back to one school.
A group of students from the high school took on the task of improving Spartan pride, including bringing a spirit rock to the school. Sparty, the mascot, began appearing at events and in the community last year, and the district launched a new web site and logo. All have contributed to a renewed pride in the Spartans.
“The Spartan pride among our students and in this community just continues to grow,” she said. “We want that pride to be stronger than ever when our football, soccer and track teams take the field from here on out in Spartan Stadium.”
The name change came as the district prepared to unveil its $1.8 million stadium renovation project.
A dedication and open house was held Aug. 24 at the stadium. Guests toured the facility, including the new press box and locker rooms. Coach Mike Fell and Spartan football players, along with other fall athletes and coaches, were on hand to help with tours, talk to guests and play with children on the field.
People were able to see and purchase items from the new concession stands and the Lima Senior DECA Spartan Spirit Shack. The store will be open at all home football games.
The project includes rebuilding the west side of the stadium. That includes a new west side grandstand, two sets of restrooms (one set on each end of the stadium), a concession stand, covered vestibule and press box.
A concession stand, ticket booth and restrooms have also been added to the east side (visitor side) of the stadium. The east grandstand was replaced in 2010.
New home and visitor locker rooms are located on the north side of the stadium. The facility also includes a room for game officials and a storage area. The stadium is also getting a north parking lot for team buses, marching bands and officials.
The stadium was built in 1936 through the Works Progress Administration.
While owned and operated and renovations funded through the Lima City Schools, the stadium is also used by midget football, Lima Central Catholic and the Lima Warriors.