DUNMORE, Pa. -- A stadium in Lackawanna County that was first opened about 70 years ago will enter a new era this weekend. Schautz Stadium in Dunmore is in the middle of a $3 million renovation.
In order to test out the new LED scoreboard screen at Schautz Stadium in Dunmore, borough officials put up pictures of the stadium's dedication in 1951.
"This field was the mecca around the area, back in 1951. I believe the Schautz Foundation and Mr. Walter Schautz developed this field for the youth. It had a playground in the back. It had a splash pool. It had some basketball courts, so it was the place to be," said borough manager Vito Ruggerio.
The stadium's next chapter begins this weekend. There's still work to be done to finish up the $3 million renovation, but on Saturday, the first baseball games will be played here since the borough took over the stadium a few years ago.
"Oh, night and day, just night and day, and the field was cared for when it was an active field. The field was cared for very, very well, but I mean, how can you beat this Astroturf," said Bob Howells of Covington Township.
The brand-new turf is set up with two baseball fields and room for more than one soccer game to be played at the same time.
The project isn't finished just yet. The plan is to put a building behind the field for batting cages and an indoor soccer field.
"It could be a revenue source, from soccer tournaments to baseball tournaments, lacrosse, the possibilities are endless," Ruggerio said.
Dunmore borough paid for the project through private donations and proceeds from the sale of the Scranton Sewer Authority.
The borough manager says Schautz Stadium is a piece of Dunmore history worthy of the investment.
"Everybody talks about, how do you retain your children to stay in the area? We want the best for our children, so we invested back in them," said Ruggerio.
Valley View and Wallenpaupack Area will play the first game at Schautz Stadium Saturday morning.