New pressbox in works at Florala High School

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 19, 2014

Florala High School Principal Brent Zessin is expecting big things out of the Wildcats football team this fall, and he wants to make sure the community, as well as visiting teams, see just how much the program is supported.

Zessin spoke to the Florala City Council Monday during its regular meeting, where he outlined his plan to construct a new press box at Matthews Stadium.

“The press box there now was there when I played in the 70s,” Zessin told council members. “I know it was built sometime after 1949. It did house the concession stand underneath it at one time. It just needs to be replaced and updated.”

And that goal can be achieved, Zessin said, through private funding and help from the city government.

“I had a group approach me three or four months ago that wants to help,” he said. “As you know, if we can keep the price under $50,000 we don’t have to bid out the work.”

Zessin’s proposal: Tear down the existing press box and replace it with a 30 foot by 20 foot brick press box, similar to press box at Opp High Schools Channel-Lee Stadium.

“We still have to approve plans with the state architect and through Alabama Power and all of that stuff, but I wanted to come before you and let you know that any help the city can give us will be appreciated,” Zessin said Monday.

That help, he said, could come in the form of helping FHS relocate several meters that may be in the way of sidewalk and fencing that would need to be implemented along with the new press box.

“We want something that, when you drive up to the high school, you say, ‘Wow, that’s really nice,’” Zessin said. “And this kind of thing helps with industry. When people are trying to decide to relocate here, they want to know about the schools. We have a crown jewel of a football stadium, and we want to make it look nice.”

Zessin said his hope to have the project completed by the beginning of the 2014 football season.

“I’m hoping the community can get involved and help us,” he said.

Zessin also said a number of fundraiser ideas have been discussed, and an official announcement will be made soon.