Adairsville brothers think big with Eagle Scout projects
by Jon Gargis
Oct 18, 2010 | 1965 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Adairsville High School freshmen Christian Metroka, left, and Christopher Metroka stand in front of the sand volleyball court located outside the school’s pool facilities. Christopher led the efforts to construct the court as he sought to attain the rank of Eagle Scout, which both of them are close to reaching. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Adairsville High School freshmen Christian Metroka, left, and Christopher Metroka stand in front of the sand volleyball court located outside the school’s pool facilities. Christopher led the efforts to construct the court as he sought to attain the rank of Eagle Scout, which both of them are close to reaching. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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Some might say that the Adairsville High Tigers football team will be going a little "old school" when they celebrate Alumni Night this Friday at their former home -- Chamlee Field at Adairsville Middle School. But the old arena looks much newer following the work led by an Adairsville High freshman.

Fourteen-year-old Christian Metroka recently completed a project that saw him and about 20 of his supporters -- fellow Boy Scouts from Troop 54, friends and family -- refurbish the stadium. He undertook the task as part of his pursuit of the rank of Eagle Scout.

"First thing was, I wanted to do something for the school. So my first idea was doing something here, which was building a concession stand for the soccer field, but then I got to thinking that was way too much brick," he said. "So I started thinking about doing stuff at the middle school."

Christian's brainstorming led to the idea of improving the look of the middle school's stadium, and he soon took the proposal to AMS Principal Bruce Mulkey.

"He actually approached me, I want to say, early last year about the possibility. He had a rough idea to start with ... and I said, 'Yeah, it would be possible, and there's going to be some things that our system is going to want to make sure that you do so that we don't have problems down the road,'" Mulkey said. "He came in with a little bit more formal plan a few weeks later and it looked really good, and he met with some folks from our central office and they talked about things they wanted to make sure that he take care of, and he did, step by step.

"Really, he, his mother, and his Scout leader took care of everything. We met a couple of times and talked about some specifics as far as color, design and that sort of thing, but I'm telling you, we didn't have to do a thing. It was nice, very nice."

Christian and company spent two days pressure washing the stadium and a few more days scrubbing off old paint. Painting began this Labor Day weekend, and the entire project was concluded Sept. 12. An estimated 610 man hours from Christian and those who helped went into the entire process from planning to completion.

Mulkey said Christian's work improved a facility that previously showed dirt, rust stains, faded paint and seats in bad shape. The stadium, which is used by the school year round, now will look much better to those taking part in sports and activities hosted there.

"The stadium hadn't had a whole lot of work done on it probably since the new high school was built and we were a middle school by ourselves," Mulkey said. "From what I understood, when Coach [Johnny] Gulledge was here, he and the coaches took care of some upkeep and some general maintenance on it.

"The pictures don't do justice for how bad it looked before he started working on it," he added. "To try to describe it, put it into words, is pretty tough to do because it was in pretty poor shape."

Adairsville High Assistant Principal Steve Adams also noticed a significant difference between how the facility once looked and its condition today.

"I've seen it riding by. I've heard he's done a fantastic job," Adams said. "From what I saw, the white looks whiter, the concrete looks clean. It probably made it possible to have the game -- he's done a lot of work over there."

Christian said he was looking forward to the Adairsville High community seeing his work when the Tigers take the field at the downtown stadium Friday, adding that he hopes it will remain in good shape.

"I'm glad because everyone's going to see it, but then again, I don't want it to become trashy," he said.

A project spearheaded by Christian's twin brother, Christopher, has a more direct impact on the high school. He led the efforts to build a sand volleyball court on the school's grounds.

While most of the work was done on Sept. 11, it took about five days total to construct the court behind the school's pool facilities. About 30 people in all helped with the project, including the volleyball team, which was the target of Christopher's efforts.

"I thought because my sister plays volleyball, and it seems they have to share the gym with the basketball team, they didn't always get the privilege to always be there first, or they might not have the coach be there to open it," Christopher said. "I figured that would allow them to be there anytime without a coach or with, so they could practice even with the basketball team there, too.

"It makes me feel real good, makes me think, 'Wow, I did this.' It's nice seeing everyone play on it."

Both projects were supported by car wash fundraisers and donations, with Christopher's project costing about $700 and Christian's $600.

Their mother, Heather Metroka, a special education paraprofessional at the high school, said her boys were not deterred by their respective projects' size.

"The Eagle Board was like, 'OK, these are big projects,' but they were like, 'This is what we want to do,'" she said, adding that the twins' older brother, D.J., was one of several Scouts that worked on Kingston Elementary's "Living Classroom" as he pursued the Eagle Scout rank several years ago.

"That kind of set precedent for them that they wanted something that would mean a lot to the communities," she added.

Adams said the high school's new volleyball court has already seem some use.

"Not as much as it's probably going to see in the summer. I think some of our PE classes have tried it out," he said. "It's a new experience, going from a court to sand. But it's pretty.

"It was finished the night before our big bonfire for homecoming, and a lot of people were stopping by to look at it, or slowing down looking at it," Adams added. "He did a great job.

"We're proud of both of those boys, what they put out for their community."