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Effort to Rebuild Holmes Field Scores Big Grant

The effort to reconstruct the football field at Holmes High School which is also used by Holy Cross High School got its first large donation.
The R.C. Durr Foundation has donated $50,000 to the capital campaign to raise $1 million to build a new multi-purpose outdoor athletic and activity field at Holmes High School.
The Tom Ellis Athletic Memorial (TEAM) Foundation kicked off an ambitious $1 million capital campaign earlier this year to build the new multipurpose field and track, install a new scoreboard, and make other improvements at the 77-year-old stadium at Holmes High School.
The TEAM Foundation recently received its first major private donation from the R.C. Durr Foundation. R.C. Durr, a Kenton County resident who became one of the region’s most respected and loved civic and business leader, endowed the foundation upon his death in 2007.
“We are deeply grateful to the R.C. Durr Foundation for this significant contribution to our capital campaign,” said Gary Huhn, president of the TEAM Foundation. “We now are actively seeking donations from other foundations, organizations, and individuals to allow us to reach our ultimate goal of raising $1 million.”
To date, the TEAM Foundation has raised $271,313. The cost of the new, synthetic-grass field itself is approximately $550,000. A new track is expected to cost $125,000 and a new scoreboard $40,000. The TEAM Foundation also wants to create a $250,000 endowment to maintain the field during its useful life of approximately 10 years.
Because of its poor condition, Covington Independent Public Schools must limit the use of Tom Ellis Field to just a few dozen events per year. Between a half dozen football games, some soccer matches, and graduation, the grass at the stadium takes an annual beating. The field currently costs the school system about $50,000 a year to maintain. The new synthetic-grass field will dramatically reduce those maintenance costs.
The field -- which is named after Tom Ellis, the longtime coach of Bulldog football, basketball, and baseball teams -- was opened in 1936 and has not been updated since 1982.
“A new field will allow more students and people in the greater community to enjoy the facility much more than they can now,” Huhn said. “Right now, many sports teams cannot play and other activities cannot be conducted on the field because of its poor condition.”
Huhn said a new multi-purpose field will allow the football team to practice on the field, the soccer team to practice and play more games on the field, the varsity track and field team to practice and compete at the facility and host competitions, middle-school, elementary school, and youth football and soccer teams to play games on the field, the Holmes Marching Band to practice on the field and hold competitions there, and the Holmes JROTC can use the field for drills. A new field would also allow these teams and organizations to host district and regional competitions.
Both Holy Cross High School, which currently plays some its home football games on the field, and Covington Latin High School, which currently plays its home soccer games at Covington’s Bill Cappel Youth Sports Complex, have sent letters endorsing this project. These parochial high schools would be able to use the new field for these sports when it is completed. 
To donate online to the capital campaign, go to the TEAM Foundation website at
Donations can also be made by mail to the TEAM Foundation, P.O. Box 12132, Covington, Ky. 41011-9998.
-Staff report
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