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MHS closing in on complex

LINDEN – Marengo High School got one step closer — a leap that is — to having a renovated football complex. The Marengo County School Board approved a $622,300 contract to Hall-Taylor Construction Thursday in Linden.

The project calls for the removal of the old high school building, which sits in front of the football field. Once cleared the space will be used to build a new state-of-the-art field house and concession stand. New restrooms will also be added and a drainage system installed to draw water off the football field.

“Nothing will be there — absolutely nothing of the old high school,” County Superintendent of Education Luke Hallmark said. “We are also going to replace the fence, and install a drainage system for the field. There will be ten drains, five on either side that will drain the water off and take it down to the creek area.”

Hallmark said the field house and concession stand will be built approximately where the old ones stood.

“Where we remove the slab from the foundation of the old school, they are going to come in and backhoe it and lay sod. What you are going to have is a nice open area in front of the field . It is not going to be congested,” said Hallmark.

The concession stand will actually be situated in the middle of the new building with restrooms on either side.

Hallmark compared the size of the new concession stand building and field to the annex building to the courthouse in Linden to give board members a better idea of how large it will be.

“This annex building is 90 feet long. This concession stand is going to 78 feet long and 29 feet wide,” he said. “The field house is going to 88 feet long and 33 feet wide.”

“It is all going to be state-of-the-art. Overall it’s going to be a pretty nice facility.”

The school district took bids from nine construction companies for the project earlier in the week. Hallmark told the board the lowest bid came from Hall-Taylor for $622,300.

“The architect (McKee and Associates from Montgomery) felt like the project would come in around $750,000 to $800,000,” he said. “We felt real good that the bids were very competitive and came in under that.”

Hallmark added that new lights for the field are not included in the project at this time, but he wants to take bids on a combined lighting package for Marengo, A.L. Johnson and John Essex.

“They all need new lights,” he said. “I think we can get a better bid if we do all three at once.”

Just for Marengo, Hallmark said it would cost about $137,000 for just four new light poles.