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Board to accept bids this month

DEMOPOLIS &045; When the Demopolis City School Board was faced with finding a new superintendent, the right guy seemed to walk in at just the right time.

Superintendent Wayne Vickers just has things figured out.

And despite the immeasurable amounts of work he, along with his board, principals and teachers have accomplished thus far, the end is nowhere in sight.

In this school year so far, an expansion at Westside Elementary School, including five classrooms, a teachers’ workroom and restrooms, has already been completed.

However, the Demopolis High School campus is where all the action is. The addition of four classrooms, which will accommodate the 80 potential students gained over the next year, has already begun and will hopefully be finished by July 14, and the biggest undertaking yet won’t be finished for another eight to nine months.

He spent the next 30 minutes updating the Demopolis Quarterback Club on the school’s new athletic complex Tuesday night.

According to Vickers, the Board will start accepting bids for the complex on Feb. 28 at the central office.

The new facility will include 3,000 seats for home fans and 1,500 for visitors, an eight-lane track encircling a regulation soccer field and over 60 toilets including men’s and women’s. Vickers noted the need for space on the visitors’ side, especially this coming season with teams such as Hillcrest added to the schedule. The current facility does not offer the necessary space.

As an added upgrade from the current Memorial Stadium, the new press box will include 1,000 square-feet of space, as compared to the mere 160 square feet the old press box has to offer.

Five hundred of the 3,000 seats on the home side will have back mounted on them. These seats will serve as the reserved section. According to Vickers, athletics director and head football coach Tom Causey will determine what is required to secure one of these seats.

Additionally, 310 parking spaces will be added to the existing 700 on the campus.

The rear of the stadium will be enclosed with brick matching the school’s theme. This area will be ventilated and used for storage. Also, the skeleton of the stadium will disappear behind the brick wall, creating a more appealing view as one enters the campus.

The track and soccer field, complete with lights, will be located between the stadium and the current baseball/softball complex. This will be the first time DHS has had an actual track for their team to use.

Included in the new 8,000 square-foot field house will be coaches’ offices, a locker room, weight room, meeting room and training room, which will have an outdoor entry so female athletes can go directly to the training room.

A certain veil of disappointment fell over the auditorium when Vickers announced that athletic turf was not an option for the project.

After presenting all the good news, Vickers moved to the darker side of the story: the new complex will not be ready to start the next football season.

Once all bids have been accepted, the board will hold a special meeting to announce the winner of the project. Vickers noted that the time open to accept bids was perfect due to a lack of projects going on right now around the state.

With all that in mind, hopes are that the bids come back a bit lower than the projected cost of $5 million.

Vickers expressed sincere gratitude to the City of Demopolis for their support in the project, providing almost half of the projected cost.

In other action the QBC:

-is planning a rodeo for the weekend of May 30 and 31, which is the weekend after DHS graduation. A rodeo committee and advertising committee were selected for the upcoming rodeo. Look for more to come in The Times.

-began talks on a Drawdown Dinner, which is tentatively scheduled for April 25 at the Civic Center.

-meeting will be at 5:30 p.m., March 4 at the DHS auditorium.