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Happy home for the Hawks

by DEVIN WEEKS
Staff Writer | August 12, 2020 1:09 AM

Lakeland 2020 grads, community spend summer sprucing up press box, concession stand

RATHDRUM — When a call went out to the Rathdrum community earlier this summer to put some work into Lakeland High's football stadium, the answer was resounding.

"We had like 35 people show up for that meeting," LHS Principal Trent Derrick said Tuesday. "It was very spontaneous and people were like, 'Let’s make it happen.'"

It began with the class of 2020 donating $4,000 to the school to update the Corbit Field stadium entrance and to update the concession/press box, which had not been refurbished since it was built around 1990. Corbit Field is named for Dick Corbit, who, with his wife, Ella, were instrumental in the creation of the football field.

"He actually sold a place on Twin Lakes and donated the money to the school," Derrick said, adding that their daughter, Laurie, visited to see the work being done.

"She came by and she was in tears," Derrick said. "She said, 'I am so thankful for you guys. What a great thing.'"

Volunteers, community members and students have been spending weekends working on the roughly $30,000 project. They're upgrading the press box with new siding, painting inside and out, putting on new inner and outer doors and installing new flooring, countertops in the media/coaches rooms, lighting fixtures, cabinets for storage in the PA room and a new sound system. Two new ticket booths have also been added.

"The neat thing is, there's been zero cost to the taxpayers to this point," Derrick said. "We’re going to complete it without that if possible."

Derrick said the Lakeland Booster Club and Bart and Harvest Klinge of the Joshua Brandt Foundation have been amazing at getting this project off the ground by spending thousands of dollars and hours seeing it through. More than a dozen community businesses have also donated funds, manpower and products to assist, including siding, trim and installation equipment from Mandere Construction, several gallons of paint from the Mallory Paint Store, food from Zachary Mehaffey's food truck and more.

"Bart and Harvest have been awesome," Derrick said. "They've been there every weekend and really put a lot of time and energy to make this thing fly."

Jacquie Kiefer-Neff, president of the Lakeland Booster Club, praised the support for LHS. Her daughter, Abbey, will graduate in 2021; another child graduated three years ago; she graduated from LHS; and her dad is an LHS grad and former football coach. She knows how much this work means to the community.

"I was very, very moved by the whole thing," she said. "I love this school. I love the community. I can't imagine being anywhere else.

"We’re still a pretty small community, so just like when we had our little senior parade, where the kids drove around at the end of the school year, even if you don't have a kid who goes to school at Lakeland, you love to see that community pride. Nobody wants to see something rundown or sad. Everybody loves to see people pitching in. It makes you feel good about what's going on in your community."

Derrick said the project has been a bright spot in an otherwise challenging time.

"When we come together, we make things happen," he said. "People are getting to know each other a little bit better, and I think we’ve lost that. Maybe it's not lost, but it's been hidden. We rely on all these agencies to do things, instead of just saying, 'Let’s figure out a way; let’s get it done.'"

The project illustrates the heart and soul of the Lakeland community, Derrick said.

"It says we can do anything, and it really is about the kids," he said. "We want to make sure we've done a good job in order to represent our belief in our kids and their future."

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Volunteers climb scaffolding to refurbish the Lakeland High School press box/concession stand, a legacy project jump-started by $4,000 invested by the class of 2020. The finishing touches are now being put on the project, which will be complete by the end of summer.

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Incoming Lakeland High School senior Abbey Neff preps concession stand walls for painting as she works on a legacy project for LHS. Volunteers and community businesses have invested countless hours and about $30,000 into refurbishing the press box/concession stand at Corbit Field. (Courtesy photo)

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Trent Derrick