Hannibal School District planning upgrades to athletic facilities

Hannibal School District superintendent Susan Johnson speaks during Thursday’s Pirate Pride Project campaign kickoff at Porter Stadium.

HANNIBAL – The Hannibal School District held a campaign kickoff for the Pirate Pride Project at Porter Stadium on Thursday, detailing improvements planned for its athletic facilities.

Hannibal is planning on making $11 million in upgrades to Porter Stadium and Veterans Sports Complex.

Among the improvements planned for Porter Stadium include a new turf field, an eight-lane all-weather track and a 2,000-seat capacity aluminum bleachers.

The Hannibal School District is also planning on making upgrades to the playing fields at Veterans Sports Complex, including the baseball, softball and soccer fields.

During the campaign kickoff, superintendent Susan Johnson gave a speech and a video explaining why the upgrades were necessary was shown on the scoreboard at Porter Stadium. The video included input from student-athletes such as Aneyas Williams, Keaton Scott, Gracie Martin, Chloe Simms, Nora Hark, Grace Hiles and Drew Porter.

The turf on the football field was donated to Hannibal by the St. Louis Rams over a decade ago and is past its life expectancy.

Another reason school administrators want to upgrade the facilities is because the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) requires an eight-lane track and upgrading seating to host district and state-level track meets.

The Hannibal School District also pointed to increased opportunities for youth participation, remaining as one of the top facilities in Northeast Missouri, fewer cancellations and rainouts of games and making it a focal point of the campus as reasons for the upgrade.

The Hannibal School District plans to begin the upgrades during the summer as they began their fundraising push on Thursday.

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