MCSD administration ‘excited’ after School Board accepts bids for Athletic Complex project
Enthusiasm is the prevailing feeling amongst MCSD administration this week after the school board accepted a set of bids for renovations at the High School Athletic Complex during a special meeting Monday.
Larson Construction of Independence was awarded the base bid of $5,495,000 for the project and an alternate bid of $173,000 for new visitor bleachers.
The bid for field turf, costing $461,080, was awarded to Sprinturf based in Daniel Island, S.C., while the track surface bid of $200,230 was awarded to Fisher Tracks of Boone. The total cost to the district is $6,329,310, and work is scheduled to begin on April 12.
As Superintendent Theron Schutte explained, the genesis of the project sprang from surplus facilities funding granted to the district after installing air conditioning and HVAC upgrades at the high school.
“When we set out the air conditioning project, we bonded for $10 million. The project bids came in at $8 million, so we had $2 million of additional funding that we weren’t anticipating that we could put towards a project,” he said. “As we said earlier, when we sought approval to move forward on it, those funds have to be spent by the spring of ’24, or else we have to give them back. So we had $2 million worth of capacity to put toward whatever that next project was.”
The district identified three potential projects, which included large scale improvements to Career and Technical Education (CTE) and science labs, renovations to the dated Athletic Complex, and Miller Middle School facilities improvements. As Schutte said, the other two were too costly for the district in the allotted time frame, with needed improvements to Miller likely to require a bond referendum in the future.
“The sensible thing was to go ahead and knock out the project we could afford over the course of the next year, which was a stadium project,” he said. “To me, because of the freeing up of those $2 million through the HVAC project, it basically provided us the opportunity to do the stadium project.”
Though Schutte indicated the district still plans to address the two other facilities projects in the future, with construction tentatively slated to begin within the next two weeks, Activities Director Ryan Isgrig says he’s looking forward to providing more recreational opportunities for students, staff and community members.
“I’m just excited for the opportunities it’s going to give our kids and our staff, and really just the entire community,” he said, drawing attention to the new regulation size turf field. “We’re able to use that new turf for a lot of different things between P.E. class and marching band, and, of course, football, soccer, and any other sport that wants to use it. So we’re just really excited about the whole project.”
Isgrig pointed out that the boys soccer team and track teams had been unable to host district games and meets due to the size of the field and quality of the track facilities.
“That hurt a few times, when our boys team a few years ago had an opportunity as the higher seed, probably should have been hosting the postseason matches, but we couldn’t, because it wasn’t wide enough,” he said. “If we run into that opportunity to host we want to host on our home field… Hopefully, with these upgrades, we’ll maybe have an opportunity to have a district track meet in the future as well.”
Much of the timeline for the construction of the renovations at the Athletic Complex will hinge on weather, but Schutte said the district is planning to complete the project by the next football season.
“We’re very excited,” Schutte said. “It’s going to be a busy summer with all of what’s going on with that project, a very aggressive schedule to get it completed in time for the football season in the fall.”
Contact Nick Baur at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.