‘New’ Don Drumm exudes pride, excitement at Marietta

Andrew Keller ’12 (Cincinnati, Ohio) says Marietta College tried to make the Pioneer Walk across Pike Street a cherished tradition for the football team.

Instead, the players reluctantly accepted it as a necessary evil.

Once he stepped into the new locker room at Don Drumm Stadium, the first thing that crossed his mind was the walk.

“I knew we wouldn’t have to show up 10 minutes early to get dressed just so we could walk across the street to get to practice or a game,” says Marietta’s senior quarterback. “This place is amazing. I’ve seen a lot of other Division III facilities and I don’t think anything comes close to this.”

Since the Pioneers wrapped the 2010 season, Grae-Con Construction worked non-stop on the four-story, 17,000 square-foot renovation project at Don Drumm Stadium. When Jeff Filkovski’s team returned to Marietta in August they got their first look at the $3.6 million addition.

“It’s like moving into a new house and you are still figuring out everything you have,” says running back Tevin Dones ’13. “For the upperclassmen, it’s just a big deal to have air conditioning in the entire building. The freshmen don’t know what it was like to dress in McCoy without AC. I think this is a sign that the football program is really turning around.”

It all started when the Chlapaty family, led by Marietta College Trustee Joe Chlapaty H’10, donated $2.6 million in December 2009. The College was challenged to raise the balance of the cost to construct and renovate the facility, so the development officers are still working hard to close on some final gifts to reach the goal.

“We owe the Chlapaty family a huge debt of gratitude for their commitment to this project, and for believing in our football program,” Filkovski says. “We now have one of the nation’s best Division III facilities, and it will help our coaches and me as we try to bring in the best and brightest student-athletes to Marietta College.”

The new four-story addition, which includes an elevated concourse to get the building out of the floodplain, is home to the following:

-- New restrooms

-- New concession stand

-- North and south stair towers and elevator to all four floors

-- Gene Epley locker room, with 128 open face lockers from McCoy

-- George Stewart Team Meeting Room can be divided into two team meeting rooms with a capacity of 65 people in each

-- Carl Wheeler Coach’s Office is at the south corner and is for the head coach

-- The offices for full-time coaches are the Roger and LaRue Porter Coach’s Office, Jim and Margaret Wilkes Coach’s Office and the Charlotte Gebhart Student Intern Office

-- Carol Steinhagen Suite for 15 guests

-- Dr. Jean A. Scott Press Box has two, tiered rows that will hold up to 50 people

The project also included an overhaul of the bleacher deck—removal of old benches, painting and adding anodized, aluminum bleachers with code-compliant handrails. There are also 77 reserved, seat-back chairs just below the press box facility.

Another noticeable change is the tunnel under the stadium, which now has a new concrete floor, a new storage wall and new lighting. Less visible, but just as important was the conversion of the north-end locker rooms into a visitor’s locker room, shower, taping room and eight-person, cold whirlpool.

The College also added a new scoreboard and video board before the 2010 season as part of the overall project. Marietta shares a portion of the new facility, as well as the playing field, with Marietta High School.

“This all started with the generosity of the Chlapaty family. Without them, we wouldn’t have this quality facility today,” says Larry Hiser, Director of Athletics. “Marietta College now has one of the finest football facilities in the Ohio Athletic Conference, as well as all of Division III. This is a proud day to be a Pioneer.”