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Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons field house damage costs mount

Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons field house damage costs mount

Friday morning’s arson fire at the Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons field house caused about $70,000 in dam
Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons field house damage costs mount
The devastation was visible at first light after a suspicious fire in the Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons football field house early Friday, Oct. 25, 2015.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

Friday morning’s arson fire at the Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons field house caused about $70,000 in damage to the football team’s gear alone, athletic director Patrick Moran said Tuesday.

Moran offered that figure, stressing it is a rough estimate of his tally so far. It does not include damage to the building or destroyed gear from other sports, also housed in the building.

Moran gave the estimate as the school’s varsity team prepares to play one more game, scheduled after its playoff loss Saturday, and as police continue their investigation into who started the devastating Friday morning blaze.

[Football team gets outpouring of help after field house fire]

The Holy Trinity squad, a joint team fielded by Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons and Troy’s Catholic Central, is to play at Watervliet Thursday evening at 7.

The team is to again use its donated equipment, including the UAlbany jerseys it played in Saturday at Hoosic Valley, Moran said.

As for the investigation itself, Moran said he understands police are following up on leads, but he had no further information. Contacted Tuesday, a police spokesman offered no new information, only saying the investigation is ongoing.

The investigation began with the Friday morning fire. Firefighters responded just after 2 a.m. for the field behind the school on fire. They soon doused the flames, but found the contents of the building, including the entirety of the Holy Trinity football gear, destroyed.

Investigators soon determined the fire to be intentionally set, concluding someone broke in and set it.

The Capital Region community sprang into action. The fire happened on the eve of Holy Trinity’s first-ever playoff game.

[Holy Trinity plays in donated gear after fire]

With the help of donations from area high schools, colleges and Connecticut equipment company Stadium System, the team made it onto the field, notching a victory even before kickoff.

The team’s eventual 46-12 loss then set up Thursday’s game against Watervliet, Moran said.

As for getting the school’s athletics program back to normal, Moran said that will have to wait until after the Watervliet game.

“We’re still in that kind of make sure we’re all set and ready to go kind of thing,” Moran said. “After Thursday, we’ll sit and debrief and digest a plan for the future.”

Central to the plan will be insurance and determining exactly what is covered and how the school can get the items replaced, Moran said.

That plan will have to include more than just the football equipment. Moran said the school’s baseball, track and other programs also stored their equipment in the building. That equipment will have to be replaced, too.

The building itself is also in question, Moran said. The school will have to get experts in to look at it to determine if it can be salvaged.

Donations are expected to help with any difference between insurance coverage and actual replacement. Two GoFundMe pages set up Friday morning have raised nearly $31,000 combined as of Tuesday evening.

Reach Gazette reporter Steven Cook at 395-3122, [email protected] or @ByStevenCook on Twitter.

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