More than 1,000 residents attend stadium open house

Open house allows high school to celebrate a great achievement

Photo by LESLIE A. PANFIL Residents check out the turf at the Stadium Foundation community open house.


Residents check out the turf at the Stadium Foundation community open house.

Photo by LESLIE A. PANFIL Donors prominently displayed near the new concession stand and spirit wear shop.


Donors prominently displayed near the new concession stand and spirit wear shop.


The Post contributor


It was a temperate day with clear skies and soft breezes for the Stadium Foundation's Open House. Over 1,000 members of the community perused the stadium's new synthetic turf, eight-lane competitive track, reserved seating, press box, restrooms, concession stands, walkways, fencing, wheelchair accessible ramping and recently designed landscaping.

North Royalton residents Mike and Anita Ambrose were among the first open house attendees.

"We have lived in North Royalton for 45 years," said Mike. "Our kids and now our grand kids go to North Royalton." Mike and Anita have three grandchildren in the system including an 11th grade, ninth grade and second grade students.

"Everyone involved should be very proud of the work done here. That field is finer than what the Browns play on."

"Our son will return for his Class of '76 reunion this fall and I can't wait for him to see this beautiful field," said Anita. The Ambrose family is also friends of the field's namesake, Chuck Gibson.

"We are so happy for him. He is so deserving of this honor," she said.

"Even though we are Strongsville residents, our heart is in North Royalton," said Dick Krause. Krause who works the scoreboard, also said he was thrilled to be sharing the stadium with Holy Name.

"This is a state-of-the-art facility and paid for without going to the taxpayers. That is a huge accomplishment," he said.

The Stadium Foundation was hard at work continuing to raise money with its Serpentini Chevrolet car raffle, reserved seating and spirit wear sales.

According to Foundation Member, Bo Kuntz, "We have sold 350 of the designated 534 reserved seats."

Preferred seats are $100 for the season or three years for $250 and include: admission for all home games (a $30 value); molded seat with back and arm rests; defined personal space; same seat every game; seating between the 40-yard lines; and an option to renew next season. To purchase preferred seating, call the Athletic Office at 440-582-7822.

Sales of spirit wear were also brisk.

"The inaugural season pins and the T-shirts have been really popular," said Foundation member and Open House Chairman, Dr. John Kelly. "Sales of stadium foundation spirit wear have brought in about $500."

As an integral part of the team who made this enormous project possible, Kelly said he was most proud of the new press box.

"The press box is a huge improvement," he said. "Coaches now have the capacity to use notebook computers in the box. It will be more comfortable and efficient for everyone who uses it."

Kelly, who has also volunteered in the stadium concession stand said, "We now have commercial-grade appliances. I don't think anyone realizes we were working with donated items that often took some jostling to work and many non-functioning electrical outlets."

The event program contained some amazing facts. The new stadium contains 40 toilets replacing the four toilets and several portable toilets. The new grandstand is 60 feet in height, which is more than double the height of the old stands.

Over 9,000 tons of gravel and earth were moved to prepare the site. And a staggering 2,000 yards of concrete and 3,000 tons of asphalt were poured. Nearly 150 tons of recycled rubber was used for the field and track accounting for the removal of over 18,000 tires from Ohio's landfills.

There will be continued economies in the switch from grass to synthetic material in the coming years. Water consumption from hydrating the football and soccer fields will no longer be expended. The elimination of harmful fertilizers and pesticides will save the system over $2,500 a year. The reduced use of mowers and trimmers will save the district fuel costs and eliminate clippings and yard waste.

In addition to savings, the stadium hopes to increase revenues and bolster the local economy through added concession and rental income.


Serpentini Chevrolet Stadium open house attracts North Royalton ooh's and ah's


EnlargeNorth Royalton High School freshman, Jon Bonacci, made some plays during community day at Serpentini Chevrolet Stadium.stadium gallery (9 photos)

Community Day at Serpentini Stadium - August 27th

Community Invited to Take A First Look at

New Serpentini Chevrolet Stadium on August 27

  The North Royalton City Schools and the North Royalton Stadium Foundation invite the community to an Open House of the new Serpentini Chevrolet Stadium at Gibson Field on Saturday, August 27 from 10am-1pm. 

Residents will be able to see the stadium’s new synthetic turf, eight-lane competitive track, stadium seating, press box, ADA compliant restrooms, concession stands, walkways, fencing, wheelchair accessible ramping, and beautiful landscaping.  

Thevisitor side stands have been expanded from 800 seats to 2,000 seats. The east side home stands now have 3000 seats.  The project has taken only took seven months to complete and began with the demolition of stands this past January.  The project was completed without a tax increase and no use of operational funds.  Private contributions and pledges now total almost $1.2 million dollars.

 This community stadium is quite a jewel for the North Royalton school community.  We now have a stadium that can host more than 200 school and community events rather than a handful of dates. However, I am most proud of HOW it happened.  This endeavor was truly indicative of North Royalton community pride, effort, dedication and commitment. This is great to see a dream become a reality.

 The public will be able to purchase preferred seating for the upcoming football season at the new stadium.  Benefits include molded seat with back and arm rests, same seat for every game, seating between the 40-yard lines, and admission to all home games.  Price is $100 per seat per football season or three years for $250.

 Exciting plans are in place for the September 2 inaugural game.  The dedication, ribbon cutting, and thank you to all donors will occur before the game.  The dedication ribbon will be cut by Chuck Gibson and Bob Serpentini and the coin toss will be done by North Royalton Stadium Foundation Chairman Larry Vasil and Fundraising Chairman Jim Smith.  There will be a ceremonial ball for the kickoff, a special halftime band performance, and fireworks at the conclusion of the game.

 Special edition Serpentini Chevrolet Stadium t-shirts are now available for $12 in the athletic office to commemorate the inaugural game.

 Edward Vittardi  - NRSD Superintendent


Serpentini Chevrolet Stadium is less than three weeks away

First official action at Serpentini Chevrolet Stadium is less than three weeks away for North Royalton


The Panigutti Pressbox was installed in Serpentini Chevrolet Stadium. The first sporting event on the new turf is Aug. 23.


Thanks to more than $1 million in private donations, the “Turf the Field” stadium project is close to complete. This week, construction crews began installing the synthetic turf and eight-lane track, said Assistant Superintendent Jim Presot.
The North Royalton Stadium Foundation announced in May 2010 its aggressive campaign to raise the funds necessary to completely renovate the school stadium site. Since then, business leaders and community members have come together to make that plan a reality.
“It feels great,” Presot said of the project nearing completion. “It’s nice to see things happening and moving forward.”
High school football players took to the practice fields starting Monday, but it’s the boys and girls soccer teams who will play the first match on the new field Aug. 23. The first home football game is Sept. 2.
When completed, Serpentini Chevrolet Stadium will house a synthetic turf field, an all-weather, eight-lane track and a host of revitalized amenities including concession stands, restroom facilities, bleachers, energy efficient lighting and paved sidewalks.
A two-tier press box, commemorating the Panigutti Family, was installed July 29. The 33,000-pound box features an upper deck portion for photography and video footage. Bleacher sections will be complete by Aug. 11.
On Aug. 25, the North Royalton Stadium Foundation will host an invitation-only donor appreciation night. Guests will be able to tour the stadium site and see the recognition area commemorating those who made “Turf the Field” possible.
The Stadium Foundation is also working on several celebratory events prior to and during the Sept. 2 home football game. 




Construction crews have an Aug. 23 deadline in finishing Serpentini Chevrolet Stadium in North Royalton.


Stadium press box, concession stand and bathrooms near completion

  • Photo by LESLIE A. PANFIL The new stadium’s synthetic turf is being unloaded and installed.


The new stadium’s synthetic turf is being unloaded and installed.


The Post contributor


The high school athletic stadium is abuzz with activity and despite heavy rains and blistering heat, construction is scheduled for completion by the school district's first athletic contest.

"I am very excited to see the progress on this project that is representative of an entire community effort. This truly is a community stadium due to the financial efforts of so many. The excitement builds for so many as every day we get closer to the reality. It's great to see so many folks, young and old, visit the site," said Superintendent Edward Vittardi.

The field turf arrived July 29 and the arduous job of installation is under way. Completion is expected to take about two to three weeks. The press box arrived July 26 and was installed on the morning of July 29.

"The home bleachers are well under way. They are installing the seating board and rail work. The center seats arrived on Thursday and are beginning to be installed. The construction crew is confident that they should be done by Aug. 11," said Vittardi.

While initially delayed due to several recent rainstorms, the asphalt paving was scheduled to begin Aug. 2. Other construction projects under way include: the shingling of the home and visitor concession stands, stucco work on the towers and cement work.