It was a festive affair at the ceremonial groundbreaking for the new Stargel Stadium.
Approximately 300 people attended the event at Taft IT High School, including students, staff and members of the community.
“This is an exciting time for Cincinnati Public Schools as we launch a new era in athletics for teams across our district,” said Superintendent Laura Mitchell. “My promise today, as we move forward with construction, is that this facility will continue to honor the Stargel family name by hosting events of which the entire community can come together in celebration of our young people.”
Although the district is building a new stadium, the facility will continue to be called Stargel Stadium, named after Willard Stargel. He was an assistant football coach and head coach for baseball and track at Taft High School from 1955 -1966. He later became the head track and football coach at Walnut Hills High School.
To honor the Stargel family, a plaque was presented to Jason Stargel, youngest son of Willard. “We may be building a new stadium, but we are keeping the Stargel name because your dad still continues to be in our hearts,” said Carolyn Jones, president of CPS' Board of Education.
“We have an ambitious timeline to get this project completed by August, and we appreciate all the support we have received from the city, from reviewing our drawings in a timely manner to answering zoning questions,” Jones said.
“We certainly have our work cut out for us. But, in the end, we will have completed something amazing for Cincinnati Public Schools, the West End Community and our entire city,” she added.
In January 2018, Football Club Cincinnati (FCC), a professional soccer team, asked the Board to consider a land-agreement proposal that would allow FCC to build its stadium on the site of CPS’ Stargel Stadium (behind Taft IT High School) in exchange for a new stadium across the street from the school, southwest corner of John Street and Ezzard Charles Drive.
FCC is funding the $10 million project and the school district is overseeing construction. The 3,000-seat stadium will include locker rooms with enhanced technology, fitness/weight room, press box with filming platform, trainer’s room and space for game officials.