Triton unveiling Ernie Watkins Pavilion during open house next Monday
BOURBON — Triton High School will unveil its new football pavilion during a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house next Monday at 6 p.m.
The Ernie Watkins Pavilion is a 1,600-square foot building that will house a ticket area, a concessions stand, and men’s and women’s restrooms at the THS football field. The Triton Athletic Office is encouraging fans to attend the grand opening and celebrate with the friends and family of Ernie Watkins.
“The Administration and I have been working on this project since I started in this role five years ago,” Triton Athletic Director Mason McIntyre said. “A lot of planning was involved, and it took us time to figure out how we would fund the facility. Thanks to the leadership of Superintendent Carl Hilling and the generous donation, we finally get to see this dream come to reality.”
The new pavilion is the product of a THS Athletic Department’s capital projects campaign called the “Back Our Trojans” campaign, a three phase initiative launched in the fall of 2011 to finance the construction of the pavilion, a new football press box, a new baseball press box and new scoreboards in the school’s gym and at its football and baseball fields.
The “Back Our Trojans” fundraising campaign included naming opportunities for each of the restrooms, the concessions stand and the storage room at the new pavilion, but instead of multiple donations, one contribution ended up covering the whole shebang.
That donation was given by friends of Watkins, the Triton School Corporation Maintenance Director from 1968-1988.
“We didn’t know if anyone would be willing to purchase those naming opportunities,” said McIntyre. “But earlier this year we had a donation offered to cover the naming opportunity for the entire building. I never dreamed that we would have an offer this generous.”
“He has demonstrated a warm and caring attitude toward his custodial staff and they in turn demonstrate the same toward him,” wrote former Triton Superintendent Dan Bates about Watkins’ performance. “It is obvious that this strong, positive relationship has developed over the many years.”