Newsman proposes new press box | CraigDailyPress.com

Newsman proposes new press box

Media says new press box at high school football field needed

Lee Harstad

During the Moffat County School District Board of Education meeting Tuesday, K27FA Television newsman Bill Engler presented a proposal for a new press box to be built on the west grandstands at the Moffat County High School (MCHS) football field.

The current press box houses radio and television broadcasters, newspaper reporters, along with coaches and video crews on top of the press box. Construction of a new booth would allow the MCHS public address announcer, spotter and coaches an inside position and “no one would be subject to peril on the top,” according to Engler.

“The main reason for this proposal is because of safety factors in the old press box of people being on the roof,” Engler said. “Plus, we could actually use a bigger press box.”

People positioned on the roof during game only have a safety rail keeping them up. Should they happen to lose balance and fall to the ground, it’s about 60 feet down.

“We are not looking for handouts,” Engler said. “We are willing to do our fair share.”

Expanding the current press box, according to Engler, would cost more than adding a new structure to the opposite side.

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Board members were positive toward the idea, but some are unsure whether school district funds should help in the construction.

“What is the benefit for the students?” Board member Phil Hastings said. “I’ll help you build it, but I don’t know if school district funds should help pay for it.”

After discussion, Superintendent Duane Wrightson said, “It is worthwhile to look at. Especially because we have a group (local media) willing to look into it.”

Engler’s estimated costs, depending on donated material and time, would be $60 or less per square foot, or about $20,000 to $25,000.

The plan has not been set in motion.

“This is an exploratory situation at this point,” Engler said. “No commitments have been made.”

School district Maintenance Supervisor Mike Taylor said he would devise a plan, with city approval, and this design would then be given to a structural engineer. As far as a possible next step, the district will pay for a structural engineer to survey the position of the new box and these results will be part of action items in upcoming meetings.