Gazette Nov 5, 2009

Boosters use bricks to fund stadium entrance makeover

Old meets new at Brunswick High

Brunswick High School 's athletic boosters club is attempting to use the school spirit of Railroaders past to generate future student pride.

The club members are planning the first renovation to the exterior of the school's stadium since it was built in 1965, according to secretary Misty Bitler. The main fundraising method is selling personalized bricks, most of which will make up the walkway of the new entrance.

It will be "similar to what you'll find at an old train station platform," said project architect Jim Mills, of Rubeling and Associates in Frederick .

The rest of the renovation will go along with the train station theme, as well. The entry gate will be wrought iron, the merchandise and concession stands will be designed to look like train ticket booths, and the stone masonry will echo that of an old station, Mills said.

"Obviously, they have a desire to have something that speaks to the railroad history and the namesake of the school, and we want to provide something that's consistent with that," he said. "I think it will be important to reflect the pride of the community."

A 4- by 8-inch brick costs $50, while an 8- by 8-inch brick costs $100; either can be marked with the buyer's words and symbols of choice. There is a space limit, but custom sizes can also be ordered.

"For $50, you help support the school and boosters club, and you get your brick down there forever," Bitler said. "I'm alumni and I was happy to put my brick down there," she said.

The boosters estimate that the project will cost $25,000, and hopes to raise most, if not all, of the funds through brick sales.

Of the bricks ordered so far, most have been purchased by alumni.

"The dates go from the '30s up to 2009," Bitler said in reference to the graduation years of the buyers. Another popular practice has been ordering one in memory of a deceased loved one, she said.

One member of the first Brunswick football team ever to win a conference ordered a $1,000 granite slab, listing on it all the players and the coach from that year. The boosters are planning to buy similar slabs for all the past championship teams, which will be incorporated into the masonry on either side of the front gate, not the floor, Bitler said.

Even the mayor and council members ordered a brick, which was personalized with the town logo, she said.

"We want them [athletes] to see they have our support," said Brad Foltz, president of the athletic boosters club. "And we hope that carries over to their performance on the field."

After all, an entrance like the one the club has planned is bound to garner more team spirit than the "rusted chain-link fence" that's there now, Bitler said.

Mills said he expects the project to be approved by the Frederick County Board of Education this winter, the designs to be completed in spring, and construction to be done by the time the school opens in August.

"The stadium is the hub of that school," Bitler said, and now "it's going to look more like its 2010 up there instead of the 1960s."

E-mail Courtney Pomeroy at