Stadium scrap may be for sale

NEWELL – Newell Memorial Field may be sold for scrap. Or least what’s on it.

Hancock County commissioners walked the property, and the old Jimmy Carey Stadium in Weirton, Saturday to help them determine the scrap value of the materials on site.

“We’re going to look at what can be salvaged and what can be scrapped and prepare a bid package from there,” Commissioner Dan Greathouse said.

Commissioners plan to solicit bids from salvage companies qualified to take the items and sell them for scrap. One aspect of preparing the bid package, Greathouse said, is determining the scrap value of the equipment on the property – scoreboards, lighting, fences, concession stands and press boxes.

“We plan to scrap everything and do a Phase I environmental study … so that this property is shovel-ready in case somebody wants to come in and build something on it,” Greathouse said.

A Phase I environmental site assessment involves determining the environmental liabilities on a piece of property. Such liabilities are likely to be greater at the Weirton stadium because of its close proximity to the ArcelorMittal Weirton steel mill.

Commissioners walked the properties with Patrick Ford, executive director of the Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle, the chief economic development authority of Hancock and Brooke counties. Commissioners have solicited the BDC’s help in marketing the stadium properties for economic development purposes.

Commissioners bought the stadiums from the Hancock County Board of Education for $400,000 late last year.

The bleachers from Newell Memorial Field may have a buyer in Buckeye Local Schools, of Dillonvale, Ohio, south of Steubenville. Athletic Director Sam Jones, who expressed an interest in the bleacher seating to Superintendent Suzan Smith last year, said Friday that he’s still interested.

“We have not been down to bid on them because of the winter weather. It’s been a rough time,” said Jones, noting that Greathouse is “on my list to call.”

Also unsettled is the disposition of the war memorial plaque on the entryway to the stadium property. Commissioner Mike Swartzmiller said he’s willing to leave the final decision to Commander Tom Cline of the Newell American Legion Post 114.

Memorial Field was built as a war memorial in the 1940s. Its two brick pillars bear the dates 1917-1918 – for World War I – and 1941-1945 – for World War II. The memorial plaque contains the names of two Newell natives who died in World War I and 25 who died in World War II.

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