Field of Dreams
By Jason Stuart
Ranger-Review Staff Writer
Glendive Public Schools’ Perham Field is about to get a major face lift.
Thanks to a private donation by Ross and Tara Oakland, Perham’s track is going to be completely rebuilt, the football field is getting artificial turf and the stadium is getting a new scoreboard.
Just how much the final donation will total will depend on what the bids for the project come in at, but according to Ross Oakland, “$1.3 million is kind of what I think it’s going to be.”
Oakland said Fisher Sand and Gravel has also committed to work with the district on the project and help keep the cost of some materials down.
Glendive Schools Superintendent Ross Farber said the school system is overjoyed at the Oaklands’ commitment.
“It’s absolutely wonderful. It’s a very generous donation and it will help out the district,” Farber said. “We’re so pleased to see some progress on the Perham facility, because it’s such a great facility for the community.”
Ross Oakland said he and Tara’s decision to make the donation began when he heard Glendive might wind up losing next year’s track divisional tournament because the track was in such bad shape.
“I was told a while back that our track is in such poor shape that they’re talking about condemning our track,” Oakland said. “I was born and raised in Glendive, and that’s ridiculous.”
Oakland said he reached out to some oil companies to see if they would be willing to make some corporate donations to help fund the project, but discovered getting anything out of them would be a lengthy process, so he and his wife decided to do it on their own.
“I said to Tara, ‘Let’s take care of this for the community,’” Oakland said.
“It’s great when you drive into Glendive and you see this beautiful field,” Oakland said. “Now it’s just so deteriorated and we need to get it back in shape.”
He added that by renovating the track and field, they are also hoping it will encourage more students to participate in sports.
All the renovations will be first class, according to Oakland. The track, for instance, will be renovated using the “best option.”
Artificial turf options for the field will be researched.
“It’s going to be awesome,” Oakland said of the track and field once renovations are complete.
Reach Jason Stuart at email@example.com.