DHS athletic complex specifics

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 29, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; According to the U.S. Census Bureau figures, the city of Demopolis&8217; population is 7,540. According to Demopolis City Schools Superintendent Wayne Vickers, the new Demopolis High School football stadium will seat 4,500 fans &8212; over half of the population of the city.

The stadium is one of several additions to the Demopolis High School campus that make up the ongoing athletic complex project for the system. And, according to Vickers, the project is quickly approaching groundbreaking in early 2008.

As it currently stands, Vickers is expecting the athletic complex project to cost the system approximately $5 million &8212; up approximant $2 million from the estimated price tag reported by the project architects, McKee and Associates, over two years ago.

Vickers said, once the project is complete, the school&8217;s athletic complexes will be among the top in the state for 5A schools. The biggest additions with the project include a 4,500-seat football stadium, with 8,000 square feet of facilities and a 1,000 square foot press box, and a track and soccer field complex. Vickers said restroom facilities at the softball and basketball complex will also be upgraded as part of the project.

Vickers said the city has had the completed plans, which were approved by the state, ready to bid for sometime but have been waiting for the state to release bonds for capital improvements.

Once the bids are returned, Vickers said the four-room addition to the high school will take precedence over the stadium for the company in charge of construction. He said the addition must be ready by the beginning of next school year to facilitate a large incoming freshman class.

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. It will also including funds from the state bond issue for capital improvements 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 is approved, $100,000 in seed money has already been used to fund 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.