The R and H Letters At Fran Rish Stadium Are Back! - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

The R and H Letters At Fran Rish Stadium Are Back!

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RICHLAND, WA. -- The "R" and the "H" are now back where they belong at Fran Rish Stadium in Richland. On Tuesday morning, crews poured the new concrete for the historic letters, after people complained when they were suddenly taken out.

It only took about 16 yards of concrete and one day of work to get the "R" and "H" back. But administrators want people to keep in mind that there are a lot more new features here at Fran Rish than just new letters.

It's out with the old and in with the new letters at Fran Rish Stadium. 

"Yeah, once the concrete pours they really get going," Steve Aagaard from the Richland School District said. 

These workers are shaping and smoothing the brand new "R" and "H". Something pretty simple, but they represent a lot of memories for people in the community.

"People really like the letters of course, they've been here since the beginning," Aagaard said. 

Administrators found that out very quickly after starting renovations to Fran Rish Stadium. Renovation that has gone very well. 

"The Fran Rish Stadium project has been an excellent one," Aagaard said. "It's been on time, within budget."

But the construction has had some controversy. Especially when it first started. 

"Well first the R and H had to come out because of the construction work, the construction trucks coming all through the area," Aagaard told us.

Alumni didn't like to see the historical letters gone. Especially the "R", donated by the 1968 Richland High Senior Class. 

"The alumni groups of both Hanford High and Richland High, they're loyal groups," Aagaard said. "Great alumni groups. And so when the letters were taken out, many people were surprised."

But hey, all is well that ends well right? 

"Now that the letters are back, we've had a lot of positive feedback that they're coming back," Aagaard said. 

Even though the letters have got most of the attention, the real focus of the project was the visitor side bleachers. 

"The visitor side of Fran Rish goes all the way to back to the beginning of the stadium," Aagaard said. "It was old, run down. So it's a brand new concession stand, brand new press box, brand new bleachers. It's just an excellent facility now. Now we need to do the same thing in the future over to the home side."

The stadium project is all part of a $98 million bond approved two years ago and it's going into a lot more than just bleachers. 

"There's 9 projects and this is one of the nine," Aagaard said. "We have 5 of them wrapping up in the next couple of weeks. We have three new elementary schools, Homelink and then Fran Rish. So then we have 5 of the 9 wrapping up right now at the end of August."

But overall, the school district is happy how everything has turned out. 

"The R and the H are back and everybody is going to be happy that they're back and it's just part of a great project here," Aagaard said. 

And when the sun rises tomorrow in Richland, it signals a new beginning of a continued tradition here a Fran Rish Stadium. 

The letters will be painted back to their original color soon. And all the work here at Fran Rish is expected to be done before the first football game between Richland and Gonzaga Prep on September 4th. 

And the Carmichael Hill "C" is also planned to be put back up again soon.  

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