The Student news source for West Shore Junior/Senior High School

The Roar

The Student news source for West Shore Junior/Senior High School

The Roar

The Student news source for West Shore Junior/Senior High School

The Roar

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Building up

Teams and fans anticipate construction of new press box
The press box will be modeled after the one at Edgewood Jr/Sr High.

Junior and varsity soccer player Carter Newlin crosses over the 50-yard line on the soccer field, passing by the spot where a press box could soon sit between the bleachers.

“Installing a press box would be a great idea because the majority of schools we play in soccer already have them,” Newlin said. “It will add a feel of professionalism and preparedness when we host home games. Building a press box will add some respect to West Shore’s reputation for hosting home games and make it a better location to host playoff games in the future.”

If the currently-planned location stands, new bleacher pads will be poured, and the palm trees by the field may be removed. The bleachers will be shifted farther apart to accommodate the press box.

“I think all press boxes deserve to be right at the 50-yard line,” boys’ varsity soccer coach Austin Downie said. “Especially if you have announcers, it gives the best vision for those people to see the game.”

Assistant Principal for Facilities Catherine Halbuer said construction may begin during winter break and is expected to be complete during spring break.

“[Administration] was hoping for Thanksgiving, but that [was] not going to be realistic because it comes prefabricated,” Halbuer said. “We are at the mercy of the company that’s making it because the company that’s installing it [couldn’t] place the order until the school board [approved] funding the project; they wouldn’t want to eat the cost.”

The capital request order form for the press box was submitted in July 2021, but due to rising prices and the concession stand being deemed a bigger need, the project was put on hold.

“Our ladies that took the tickets for all basketball games and everything, not just [games] out on the field, were always outside,” Halbuer said. “We needed to make sure they had [protection from] the elements. We needed storage for testing tables because we knew our other storage portable was being condemned and demolished, so we had no place to store stuff. It was just not appropriate that that little hose in the basketball storage room was where we would get water for things. So, we felt that the concession stand was needed.”

The school board approved the construction of the press box during a meeting Oct. 24. The district funded the press box up to $375,000. The guaranteed maximum price in the pre-construction proposal from Canaveral Construction is $160,138.83, meaning the project will not exceed that total.

“I’m excited,” Halbuer said. “When I got to West Shore, coming from two different high schools that have a lot of amenities on their campuses and knowing West Shore was not only one of top schools in the county but in the nation, and to say, ‘Hey, these kids deserve what everybody else has,’ I set my sights on trying to get us up to par with everybody else.”

The press box will be modeled after Edgewood’s. It will be 18 feet in length, 8 feet in width, 9 feet in height and elevated to 10 feet.

Senior and varsity soccer player Alexis Clark said construction could present an obstacle for the teams that play on the field.

“It’d be harder to use the field because you’re not gonna be able to practice around where the construction is, and we probably won’t have as many home games while the construction is happening,” Clark said.

Head girls’ soccer coach Jenny Pazderak said she looks forward to the completion of the press box.

“Hopefully [construction will] happen over a break time so it doesn’t interfere with our games and our season, but I think it’s gonna be a nice addition to our field,” Pazderak said. “It’s going to be great for sports that use the field. They can videotape their games and watch game film on practice days to see what they might need to work on.”

The press box will contain a Veo Camera, which has two lenses to capture the entire field. AI in the camera allows it to track action. Anyone with an NFHS Network subscription will be able to view game films.

“[The press box] is gonna be great to keep it out of the weather,” Downie said. “When it rains, the Veo can get a little blurry.”

The press box will provide protection from storms.

“We are like the only high school that does not have one, and our poor people are working with that old PA system out there,” Halbuer said. “We have to put up a tent to keep them out of the rain.

Right now, the people have to be out [there], there’s no protection for them. If there’s inclement weather, they’re out there in the rain, bless their hearts. I’m hoping that there’s a way that if there’s lightning, the players could then go inside [the press box].”

The cost of the press box will include updated communications systems.

“On the field, the speakers are kind of bad, so you can’t hear the call, or it’s just a bunch of feedback,” Clark said. “They play the National Anthem, and you can’t hear it at all. A press box will allow us to have a school that seems more put together than it seems with just a little microphone.”

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About the Contributors
Caroline Scott, Copy Editor
I’m a senior, and this is my third year on the "Roar" staff. I spend my afternoons rowing for United Sculling Alliance. When I’m not in school or at crew, I can usually be found reading or looking at pictures of fall leaves.
Carter Newlin, Staff Photographer
Hey! I'm a junior and this is my first year on the "Roar" staff. I love photography, especially on film. I also play soccer for West Shore, and I'm a huge Jacksonville Jaguars fan. Duuuval and go Cats!