District moving forward with stadium
The Eudora USD 491 Board of Education has decided to move forward with the construction of a district stadium and will put the project out to bid.
The fate of the facility, which is the final project associated with the district’s $45 million bond issue, had been in question for several months as the district dealt with the results of budget cuts made at the state level.
The district had put the stadium at the bottom of the list of projects to be completed because those affecting academics had a higher priority.
“It was the last piece that was built into the bond and it was put there for a reason,” Superintendent of Schools Don Grosdidier said. “But it’s a significant piece of the overall projects and certainly we would be fearful that if we were not able to proceed with this now that it would be difficult to bring this back at a later date.”
District construction consultant Don Swartz said if the district decided to build a stadium, the projects could come in about $940,000 over budget.
In order to mitigate the overage, the district has paid $25,000 for design and a list of supplies needed to build the stadium. This method allowed board members to choose certain parts of the stadium the district could afford to have built and other parts on which it would wait.
The initial parts of the stadium that would be built are the field, an eight-lane track, a fence, lights and scoreboard.
Football, soccer and track teams would use the stadium.
Alternates included colored end zones, a cardinal head in the middle of the field and bathrooms.
Grosdidier said the district was exploring various funding options for the alternates.
Since the project is being put out to bid, specifics on the estimated cost were not made public.
The district had the option — as stated in the bond resolution — to roll into the bond the $1.3 million contract with HVAC provider TAC Americas.
Paying for the TAC contract would cut down on the district’s yearly operational costs, as it spends about $124,000 annually on the lease.
The teams currently play at Laws Field, which is located between Church and Elm streets and next to Nottingham Community Learning Center.
The strip of land inhabited by the two facilities is seen as one of the most valuable pieces of land in the city. Should the district decide to build a new stadium, which would sit just to the west of EHS, it could free up more space for future development.
Eudora City Administrator John Harrenstein was in attendance at the meeting to lend his support to the decision.
“We really need to start building a commercial tax base, and that’s really what the Nottingham site represents to the future development of the town,” Harrenstein told the board.
The board will need to make its final decision on bids at the March 8 meeting if the project is to be completed in time for fall sports.