Last updated: July 24. 2013 1:34PM - 439 Views
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PDT Staff Writer

Work continues on the second phase of the Portsmouth City School District Athletic Complex. Among the work being done now is a hand-crafted mural by PHS graduate and artist Herb Roe.

Roe has a history of painting murals for the district that dates back to the opening of the new schools.

He graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1992, and attended the Columbus College of Art and Design before dropping out to take work with artist Robert Dafford on the Portsmouth floodwall murals. Roe spent 15 years traveling with Dafford and eventually moved to LaFayette, La., where Dafford was based.

In the summer of 2009, Roe painted the murals near the football field at new Portsmouth Athletic Complex.

“He’s been the one that’s been with us from the beginning,” said Ralph Applegate, Facilities Director for the Portsmouth City School District. “He did the murals in the high school, in the football coliseum and now he’s doing this one. He’s a very talented artist.”

Working on the first murals in 2009, Roe explained the process of first drafting the images in Adobe Photoshop and then projecting them onto the wall. He also uses a gridding process; breaking the small picture into many smaller squares on a grid and then scaling them up onto a larger grid on the wall.

Phase One of the Athletic Complex cost about $11 million and was paid for entirely with private donations from the Scioto Foundation and the Maycel Clark Educational Foundation. It included the construction of a new football stadium, baseball field, tennis court, outdoor basketball court and walking track on Gallia Street next to the high school. In 2009 the district celebrated the opening of the football stadium at the beginning of the football season. The football stadium can hold 5,000 on the home (bleachers) side and about 1,500 on the visitor’s side and the levy could hold a thousand people.

Funding for the second phase came from the Clark Foundation along with contributions from the school. The school is putting forth funds from the sale of property that can only be used for such projects. The second phase construction includes a track and softball field, along with additional green space. Applegate said most of the work on the track is finished, with only minor finishing work remaining. He said the district is waiting on some asbestos abatement work to be finished, before work can begin on the softball field.

The softball field will be located north of Ninth Street, from Waller Street to Wall Street in Portsmouth.

“The plan is to have all of the second phase work completed by the spring,” Applegate said.

Roe said he started on the track themed mural last week and depending on weather could be finished as early as Friday.

“This mural is a track scene and is located on the back of the press box,” Roe said.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or wallen@heartlandpublications.com.

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