When football season kicks off at Edgewood High a little more than a month from now, fans finally will have brand new bleachers to sit on and new lights overhead.
The additions will come as part of a $200,000 project that also will add a new press box next year.
The old bleachers provided seating for just more than 300 people, but the new ones will hold 1,350.
The old movable bleachers, which had been donated by Edgewood Arsenal, were 30 to 40 years old, said Paul Metzger, work experience coordinator and partnership coordinator for Edgewood High.
The Business Advisory Council, a group of Edgewood business people, decided to help the school tackle the project after the old bleachers were condemned.
Metzger has worked closely with the business council.
"We are trying to make this not just for the school," said Metzger.
"We're trying to make the field an Edgewood community place. Hopefully, we'll use it more than just for school things.
"We'd like to have the annual community fair there. Maybe down the road, we could have fourth of July fireworks there too. We could set them off down by the railroad tracks, and people could sit in the bleachers. We just want to open the school up to the community as much as possible."
Together, the businesses and the school have raised about $65,000 over the past 21 months. The county has provided another $50,000 toward the lights.
Fund-raising will continue in an effort to come up with the additional $85,000 for the project. Several businesses also have donated supplies and services to help bring down costs.
Among the top fund-raisers to date were a spring fair, which brought in $11,000, and a Lions Club pancake breakfast, which raised another $23,000.
"We've had a tremendous amount of cooperation," said Metzger.
"We had canisters in a lot of businesses in the area for people to put nickels, dimes and quarters in, and we raised over $12,000 just in those."
The new bleachers will cost about $100,000, while the lights should run $75,000 -- $80,000. Both should be installed within three to four weeks.
The new bleachers will be permanent structures built of galvanized steel and aluminum with a concrete foundation.
The press box, which will have four bays and will be heated, will cost $30,000.