New Lamar Stadium Planned for RE-2 School District


Savage Stadium Facing West


The Lamar RE-2 District School Board heard a presentation from Nick Nemechek of GMCN Architects, from Garden City, Kansas as he outlined the steps required to begin plans for a replacement stadium for future sporting events for the district.  The board had discussed the need to either replace or repair the aging facility for some time and following the conclusion of the need for a mascot/logo replacement, are now able to devote more time for an improved facility.

Savage Stadium and Press Box

Alternatives had been presented to the board earlier this spring from another Garden City firm, Hutton Builds, at which time a perspective for projected costs for options were laid out for board members.  The board considered a retro-fit which would address structural issues displayed by the grandstand and seating area, using the current limestone wall structure, as-is, but would feature considerably less seating.  Another similar option was presented as well as a brief idea and discussion of locating the next stadium in a brand-new area of town.  General improvements would include a new press box with an HVAC system, ADA approved seating and access ramps, and lighting and sump pumps to eliminate water build-up from precipitation.

Limestone Wall

District Superintendent, Dr. Chad Krug, said the board decided to construct a stadium with new seating for 1,500 persons, but the limestone walls would be saved and repurposed.  “We’re trying to not box ourselves in on decisions accounting for a timespan and future options.  We can appreciate having structures that are 60-70 years old and they will need sizeable work done and considerable maintenance and those costs can be expected to increase,” he explained.

The rough estimate for the project is shy of $2M and was listed as $1,448,187 for a new facility with $395,015 for demolition costs for the current stadium and $130,00 for engineering fees, hazmat and soil samples and a potential cost to the roadway adjacent to the south side of the stadium during construction.

“At some point, we will need a conversation about a real capital project,” Krug said, adding that the new construction will be done in a way that if, several decades from now, the new seating arrangements need to be moved, perhaps to a new location, the bleachers won’t be permanently affixed to the limestone walls, which is why the board opted for the complete overhaul instead of replacing new bleachers within the current limestone framework.

Krug said the district has been acting in a fiscally conservative manner, as the cost of the construction will be done without outside funding.  BEST and GoCO grants have been studied and determined not to cover costs of these types of projects.  “We have saved up and have been fiscally responsible to have the money to handle these kinds of projects.  We know we have aging facilities, so we prepared to not go into a dollar tailspin when we have to fund these projects on our own,” he stated.

“We’re starting to work out a timeline to request the forms and literature needed to start the planning stages of this project which should be completed by the end of July.  After that we’ll solicit bids for a contract manager and by early August, we can start to review some conceptual drawings, get a timeline for demolition work and get through the football season before we begin to get underway with construction,” he said.

The need for a replacement track for track and field events hasn’t been overlooked by the school board.  Krug said the situation with the mascot bill and the realization that the stadium needed work set back plans for the track field.  “We’re getting bids from some firms on projected costs and those will be presented to the board in July.  The cost will range between $250K to $350K depending on how much work needs to be done and asphalt costs.”

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarFeaturedPublic SafetyRecreationSchoolSportsUtilitiesYouth


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