Blair Garrett

A brand new activities building at Eyler Road Park Fields simplifies a lot of the issues facing local athletics programs.

For more than a decade, the plans for one central building to house equipment and a multitude of other purposes has fallen through. This year, the Catoctin Youth Association (CYA) has battled through challenge after challenge in providing the people of Thurmont with a quality building to kick off the fall season.

The common denominator for many of society’s problems seems to stem from the coronavirus situation, and it’s certainly contributed to complications completing the building.

“We had to redo the plans for the building because the price of lumber has doubled, and it put the building way out of range for us,” Jerry Ferson, Vice President of CYA Football and Cheer said. “We put out a GoFundMe account, and we’ve got some more fundraisers, but I think we were going to be short about $30,000.”

With the cost for building materials being at an all-time high, allocating the appropriate amount of funding to complete the project had been a major concern for CYA. Fortunately, the program has been able to make some tremendous adjustments to try to keep the plan on track.

“We had to scrap the whole thing and start over,” Ferson said. “Instead of a two-story building, we went with a one-story building with a loft built inside for filming and announcing.”

This building has had plans in the works for a long time, and with the condition of the current buildings at the Eyler Road Fields, it couldn’t come at a better time. “The soccer facility and our facility are falling apart,” Ferson said. “Termites have gotten into the buildings, and last year I stepped through the floor.”

The building’s main purpose is to consolidate all of the equipment that is spread across multiple facilities into one area, as well as providing announcers and scoreboard operators a press box to keep games and tournaments running smoothly. “It’s for all of the CYA organizations that use Eyler Fields for storage, and it will also be used for filming games,” Ferson said.

Aside from the poor condition of the current facilities, the security of the equipment at the fields is a top priority for CYA. The building will provide some much-needed protection for equipment like lights for the fields, which have been vandalized and had gas siphoned from on multiple occasions.

“Our buildings have been broken into at least four times,” Ferson said. “This will be a nice, secure facility.”    

There have been plenty of snags with the county, getting things approved and making sure all regulations in the plans are being met. Ferson and the rest of CYA have had hoops to jump through to keep the ball rolling.

It’s now or never to get the project up and running, with the financial deadline looming at the start of 2022. “If we don’t use the money by January 1, 2022, we lose the money for the grant,” Ferson said. “We feel like if we don’t do it now, it will never get done.”

The Youth Association is a group that put in a tremendous amount of time and effort into the community, and they have felt a lot of support from the people who make up our great local towns.

“We’ve done a lot in the community, and they’ve given a lot back,” Ferson said.

CYA has a GoFundMe available on its website for locals to donate to help complete the construction of the building.

You can find out more information and ways that you can donate online at

Share →