BOE approves bid for athletic complex

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 29, 2008

DEMOPOLIS &8212; After waiting for bond issue funds to process, the Demopolis Board of Education had a chance to look at bids for the proposed athletic complex, which will include a stadium, track, regulation sized soccer field, additional bathroom facilities and much-needed parking.

After opening for bids Thursday afternoon, the board met and approved the lowest bid from the project Friday. The bid, at a total cost of $5,345,560, was from RAC Construction based out of Livingston.

Included in the base bid for the project is the stadium, field house, press box, track and

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soccer field at a cost of $4,899,000. Two additional alternate items &8212; a baseball and softball concession and bathroom building and 200 additional parking spots &8212; were also selected in the bid at the recommendation of Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers.

Other possible alternate items included an all-concrete construction for the stadium seating or a concrete construction with aluminum raised seating, which would have added an additional $700,000 to the project.

According to Vickers, the cost of those items are equivalent to the cost of the four-room addition being built at the high school. Therefore, he did not recommend to the board to pursue those options.

One of the concerns of the project, as addressed by Vice Chairman Bobby Armstead, was the total cost of the project in comparison to the amount of funding. Much of the funds being used for the project will come from a board pledge of $100,000 per year for 20 years from its capital outlay. It will also include 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.

The next step for the project is to set a timeline for construction, which will probably commence in just a few months. Once the athletic complex is complete, the concrete portion of Memorial Stadium will be demolished so the field can be repurposed for use by the middle school and other city sports leagues.