HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WANE) — Huntington North Vikings will soon have a new multi-purpose athletic facility.
“It’s going to be a huge benefit for ourselves and our community,” said Huntington County Community School Superintendent Chad Daugherty. “Our coaches, our students and our staff are excited.”
On Thursday, officials broke ground on the new facility located on the east side of the school’s campus. The facility will be home to Huntington North’s Vikings football, soccer, and track and field teams.
The $7.5 million capital improvement project at Huntington North High School will replace historic Kriegbaum Field as the home of the Vikings. The project will be funded with bonds and constructed on the east side of the school’s campus.
This new stadium will be constructed on the school’s campus near the east end of the fieldhouse. Two outdoor buildings will also be added for locker rooms, restrooms, and concessions. There will also be a new softball facility and a regulation-sized grass practice football field.
According to school officials is not Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance and has become a “health and safety concern for athletes and fans.”
Kriegbaum was originally built in 1929 and “has become a failing facility in multiple areas, causing health and safety concerns for athletes and fans alike.”
The land Kriegbaum Field sits on was donated to the city of Huntington’s school district back in the 1920s by the Kreighbaum family, but it came with a stipulation: if the school corporation stopped using the land for athletics it would be returned to the family.
In the 1960s, Huntington County began consolidating schools within the county, which led to the creation of the Huntington County Community School System. In 1964, the school district took control and ownership of Kriegbaum Field.
Fast forward more than five decades to 2018, when discussions began on whether to move the football field from its current location on North Jefferson Street to a new location. That raised questions of what would happen to the land if the stadium moved, based on the 1927 agreement.
So in February 2019, the school district filed a civil suit to maintain legal ownership of the land, even though it would no longer be used for athletic events. A year later a judge ruled in the school’s favor.
Since the announcement of the new stadium, school officials say they will not sell the land. What will happen to the stadium has yet to be determined, but the Kriegbaum name will recognize as part of the new facility.
Officials hope the new facility will be open by mid-November.