Lamar Seeking Best Option for New Sports Stadium



For the better part of a year, the Lamar Re-2 School Board has given a lot of thought to renovating the current football and track stadium, pondering three options while striving to maintain a level of historical preservation for the main wall of the complex located between Pearl and Park Streets.

Most recently, the board has discussed creating a brand-new facility adjacent to the Lamar High School which would greatly improve the longevity factor while allowing Thunder Stadium to be repurposed for sports activities for younger students.  A good portion of the land would be on county property, while the district has about 40 acres for the proposed project, including the current high school parking lot.  “The County has been very accommodating with us on our land use concept,” explained, Dr. Chad Krug, Re-2 District Superintendent who said he’s had discussion on the project with the Prowers County Commissioners.

The board called a special session to meet with architects from Hutton Construction, the firm that proposed the initial three options this past Wednesday, May 10th.  Hutton laid out two options for a new facility for consideration, based on comparable facilities in use in Brush, Colorado.

The more expensive of the two, at $8,000,580 continues the 1,500 seating plan with a comprehensive package of an 8,000 square foot fieldhouse, scoreboard, lighting, storage areas, restroom expansion, concession stand, locker rooms and a new, eight-lane track and inner turf for the field which would lie on a North/South configuration.  The $6,141,355 model would be scaled back to offer fewer amenities.  The best construction estimate would put the more expensive choice at ten months, while the lesser priced option would take about seven months to complete.

Some of the finer points of construction under current codes, calls for a minimum of 19 toilets for women based on seating capacity or about one for every 40 stadium seats.  For men, the factor is one for every 75 seats.  Allowing access for restroom facilities at the current high school is not an option due to logistical and security concerns.

Board members stated that no one proposal is finite at this time, as every option is being explored on a current and future cost/use basis.

While the district has in the neighborhood of $5M for the project, it would not cover all the costs.  The board was specific that it did not want to initiate a bond which would incumber the tax payers for the balance of the project, but will explore a lease/purchase option for funding.  As this is an outdoor project and of an athletic nature, BEST grant funding would probably not be a viable option.
By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: City of LamarFeaturedRecreationSchoolSportsYouth


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