Historical Study to Offer Suggestions for Stadium Renovations


Limestone Wall


The Lamar Re-2 School District board voted to rescind a decision made this past June, to completely replace the Lamar High School football stadium, given the two options the board faced at that time.  A board meeting was held on October 5th, attended by citizens who were concerned a replacement stadium would remove the historical significance of the facility which has served the community since the early 1940s, built as part of a WPA-financed project.

The board considered a third option which had been suggested which would have eliminated the four top rows, lowering the broadcast booth and removing a top portion of the southern wall from the main frame.  The third entry was the most expensive, estimated at $3.1 million which included the $500,000 renovation to the track surrounding the football field.  The board indicated a reluctance to reduce its capital funding to such a degree in light of future purchases for other school needs.  Among them, a generator for their community kitchen which has twice lost power in just over a year.  An initial estimate for a replacement is $119,000.  An updated fire alarm system for the middle school is estimated at $46,000, remote control for the HVAC system is about $16,000, security door sensors for the district is $26,000 as well as dealing with the growing unpaid balance on school lunches, an issue that began in February of 2020. Other considerations are the replacement of an analogue phone system in the district’s main office and an upgraded intercom system.

Superintendent, Dr. Chad Krug, said the board decided to engage with Colorado History during its October 10th meeting and secure a non-competitive planning grant which would come from the State Historical Fund.  Krug explained, “The board is moving forward with the project, to determine the best path to follow based on its past work and in light of the concerns of some community members regarding the historical significance of the stadium.”  He added the board will consult with specialists which will compare their findings to the first two options as well as the latest entry.  Krug added that this situation is not a ‘right versus wrong’ scenario regardless of the board’s ultimate decision which hopes to attain a significant balance of all the issues.

Krug said the new historical study will impact the start of next year’s football schedule.  The first two stadium recommendations would have cut it close to the fall of 2023 for the construction to be completed.  He anticipated that there would be a thirty-day window for the district to apply for the grant from the State Historical Fund and another thirty days to do the work on whatever plan is accepted.  “We already have good architectural drawings from our earlier consideration on the renovation work, so we’re prepared in that sense which saves us some time.”  One of the considerations is the longevity of the work which will combine the 80-year-old wall with brand new seating structures.  “We will try to gather as much information as possible to make the best decision, but at one point we will have to make that decision to carry the renovated stadium forward for our students and community,” he explained, adding, “I think we have two lines of thought on all of this; recognition of respect for the past and our expressed desire for improvements which allows our students to utilize good facilities.”

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarEducationFeaturedHistoryPublic SafetyRecreationSchoolSportsYouth


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