HELENA — In a letter to parents and staff, Helena Public Schools superintendent Rex Weltz informed parents and staff in the school district that the nearly one-million-dollar renovation on Vigilante Stadium is near its completion after "crews hoisted an iron archway over the refurbished main entrance of Vigilante Stadium."
The project features a new track, new lights for the stadium, a new fence surrounding the facility, a new speaker system, and more. As of Friday, the final pieces of the renovation are upgrades to the concession stand and restrooms, according to Helena Public Schools activities director Tim McMahon. Through it all, the most impressive part of the renovation for McMahon was how quickly it came together.
"It was a short timeline. They were out here working on this Tuesday after track season ended and got it done in time for us to host our first scrimmages two and a half months later," said McMahon. "Our maintenance department has done a great job."
McMahon noted the changes made to Vigilante Stadium have been well received by spectators, partly because the space really needed them.
"Generally people have been very positive, they've liked the renovations and really, it's not so much a renovation it was just flat maintenance. The track was no longer glued down and now it's a different track, but it's staying in one place. The walls are new, but again, it was maintaining concrete that was falling apart. The lights were from the 1970s, the speaker system was 1990s. So just the upgrades that happen to them really were just about maintaining what we had. People generally have been real supportive," he said.
McMahon noted what happens next in terms of renovation or upgrades for Helena Public School will likely be a broader discussion featuring not just activities, but academically as well.
"It's not just our activities facilities and a stadium, but our academic facilities as well. Are there things that we need to do? Not in the terms of maintenance, but truly in the terms of upgrades. Do we look at that as a district-wide goal?" said McMahon.