Gerry Steele
The Baker City Herald

By Gerry Steele

Fans at Baker's season-opening home football against Weiser Friday probably noticed a bright new fence around the exterior of Bulldog Memorial Stadium.

That new vinyl fence is courtesy of Baker High School, the Baker Quarterback Club and a grant from the Transient Lodging Tax.

Rocky Brown, project director, said the Quarterback Club had been talking about repairing or replacing the fence a couple of years ago.

"We went to the high school and asked what they thought about. They said it was a good idea, but the cost was too much at that time."

Brown said he contacted a local fencing contractor and received an estimate of $10,000. He then approached then-athletic director Mike Sullivan about the propsed project shortly after school ended last year.

"I told him the Quarterback Club could replace and repair the vinyl fence in one or two shots," Brown said.

"We had to replace about 100 feet of fence and repair some other odds and ends."

Brown returned to BHS with a proposal that is the school could pay half of the $10,000 the Quarterback Cub would find funding to pay the other half.

"They thought that was great," he said.

Baker High School chipped in $5,000, the Quarterback Club $2,000 and the TLT grant added the final $3,000.

"With the Shrine game coming up we were being pushed for a deadline," Brown said.

Three weeks before the Shrine game the new vinyl fencing was ordered. One week before the game the fencing arrived.

"We hoped to get at least part of the fencing up before the game," Brown said.

Volunteer youth crews from the Baker County Juvenile Department did some of the initial work. Then, three days before the Shrine game, prisoners from the Powder River Correctional Facility added more of the fencing.

"They got the whole front section and most of the new vinyl in before the game," Brown said.

"Then the week after the Shrine game the prisoners came back and did some more.

"We've received great support for the project," Brown said.

"A project that we expected would take two years to complete now was expected to be finished by the start of this season, or shortly thereafter."

The Baker Quarterback Club is a non-profit organization that helps BHS sports.

Funds are raised by annual memberships of $25. Anyone interested in joining the group can contact Brown and Lews Schwab Lew Brothers Tires, or club secretary Jennifer Ramos.