The father of a former Bondurant Middle School athlete will donate a field house in memory of his son.
Ricky Harris plans to donate the funds to erect a football field house at Western Hills High School. The Franklin County Board of Education unanimously approved the construction of the steel building at a meeting on Jan. 22.
The project will be done in honor of Harris’ son, Ricky Lane Harris III, who was a football player at Bondurant Middle School before passing away four years ago. In a 2014 interview with The State Journal, Kristy Standifer, his former teacher, said he was an excellent student and football player. His classmates used to talk about how fast he was on the field.
“The dad has been very great and very gracious and passionate about this,” said Greg Roush, WHHS principal.
The building will be 75 feet by 40 feet and constructed by Southwest Steel. The total cost of the field house will be around $100,000. David Raleigh, assistant superintendent, said the building will be built near the current field house, which will have work done to it and will be turned into a locker room for visiting football teams and a field house for female athletes. School officials hope to have the new field house opened by the next football season.
“It will give us some more options with the sports down at the fields,” Roush said. “We don’t always have the space, and money is tight.”
The school has previously violated Kentucky High School Athletic Association rules by not having a female locker room during track season and not having a visiting locker room near the field during football season. The new field house would make WHHS compliant. Roush said they just got the green light to move forward with this project in the last month.
“We’re just now getting to the point that the district has been able to move some earth around,” Roush said.
Some plans for the new field house include a locker room, coach’s office and a conference room, but nothing is set in stone yet. The school also hopes to contribute some new elements to the field house, including possibly new lockers.
“We know, until that ground breaks, things are always subject to change. In the realm of education, budget is tight, but we are really excited,” Roush said.
Once the field house is open, the school hopes to put up signage and dedicate it in honor of the former football player.