Complex plans continue to take shape

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 28, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; A meeting was held Wednesday night to update the Demopolis Ciy Schools on the progress of the designing phase for the new athletic complex planned for Demopolis High School.

Vickers said the stadium will feature 3,000 seats on the home side and 1,000 on the visitor&8217;s side. He said restrooms and concessions at the stadium will compliment the seating numbers and 150 additional parking spaces will be added to suppliant the 750 currently at the school.

The design stage of the project is being overseen by architects at McKee and Associates in Montgomery, who have worked with athletic Director Tom Causey to facilitate the projected needs for facility.

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Though architects are currently working on the plans, once they are completed they must be sent to the state building commission for approval, which takes a set amount of time. Once they are approved the board must issue a formal bid, which will allow contractors around 30 days to compile a bid, and then choose the bid they find best suits the system&8217;s needs.

The estimated cost of the new construction portion of the project, according to reports from the architects in 2005, was approximately $3.5 million, which includes field houses, concession stands, facilities, a track and soccer field, stadium and press boxes. Vickers said the system is now looking to combine the bids of the athletic project with the planned expansion of the high school facilities to reduce costs.

Construction will take an estimated eight to 10 months after ground breaking on the project said Vickers, so it could possibly be done as soon as the 2008 season.

Much of the funds being used for the project will come from a board pledge of $100,000 a year for 20 years from its capital outlay, though it may use some from a bond issue, and $2 million from the city that will be included in the upcoming bond issue for city projects. Though the funding from the city and board has recently been approved, $100,000 in seed money has already been used to begin the design process of the project.

Part of the project will also include renovations of Memorial Stadium to adjust the complex to its new use. The structure will become part of the middle school, providing an area for school recreation and other public uses.