FAIRVIEW, Ala. (WIAT) — The hallways of Fairview High School are mostly empty this homecoming week. It’s an unusual looking and feeling for the school and its student body.
“It’s usually a lot more upbeat than it is this year,” said Riley Carroll, Fairview’s student council president.
However, the lack of decor and celebration isn’t due to a lack of enthusiasm for the school’s athletic teams. That enthusiasm is actually the reason the walls are so bare.
“We’re been going around to each class, taking up donations,” explained student council representative Jacob Guthrie. “We’ve trying to raise as much money as we can.”
The reason for the fundraising? The Fairview Aggies haven’t had a genuine ‘homecoming’ in three years. That’s when their stadium was condemned by structural engineers, because of the crumbling bleachers.
“Every week is a road week,” explained Trett Hardman, an assistant coach and assistant Athletic Director. “We try to instill in our guys that we have a kind of home away from home, but we really don’t. It’s a road week every week, so we’re good at traveling–that’s for sure.”
Hardman explained that the team has played home games at Cullman High School and West Point High School for the past three years. While the schools have been extremely accommodating, he’s noticed that the lack of games at Fairview have had an impact on more than just the players.
“Our local businesses are losing money,” he said, “because Friday nights your stores and cafes are going to be covered up with people wanting to eat before the game.”
The idea to raise funds instead of celebrate homecoming came from a student council meeting. Sponsor Treyla Kessler said she was proud of her students for coming up with a way to contribute.
“Balloons everywhere and streamers everywhere…all of that money that normally on a Friday is going to be torn down and just thrown away is going toward the stadium,” she said. “So they’re changing the atmosphere of the high school. It’s not decorated or anything, but they’re doing that to try and make a difference.”
You can help make a difference for the Aggies, too. There is a stadium fund set up at Merchants Bank. They are hoping to finish the repairs and get back into the stadium by the last home game of the season on October 21st.