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Collins athletic field to get turf

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Multi-use stadium will hold football, soccer games

By Scotty McDaniel

Future athletes of Martha Layne Collins High School, get ready for turf.

The Shelby County School Board approved Thursday night details of Collins High's outdoor athletic facilities, and they include synthetic turf for a football/soccer stadium.

Ten contractors tendered various bids on the facilities, and the firm that came out on top was no big surprise.

"The low base bid was Whittenberg Construction, which you would expect," said Sherman-Carter-Barnhart architect Michael Smith, coordinator of the project. "They're the contractor that's on site building the high school now, so you would expect them to have lower overhead and staffing costs."

Whittenburg bid $6.075 million to construct the multiuse stadium, softball and baseball stadiums, along with bleachers, press boxes, concession buildings, parking and other basic items.

In that base bid, the football stadium was a grass field with another grass soccer field next to it.

Adding synthetic turf to the primary stadium added $139,000 to the costs, but it also allowed for lower expense on the soccer field because only one competition field would be required.

"When you do that, what's in the base bid as a second competition field right next to the multiuse stadium becomes a practice field, so you take out the lights, the press box and the scoreboard [for the second field]," Smith said.

Besides the fields themselves, the board also approved a bid of $90,300 to pave the athletic parking lots and road with asphalt, as opposed to the base plan of making them gravel.

"We're looking at an upgrade, which makes it more permanent, which will reduce your maintenance over time as well," Smith said.

One other alternate bid was accepted, too: $100,700 for interior finishes.

This bid, Smith said, "puts lockers, paint, floor coverings and those things in the fieldhouse and concession stand. The base bid didn't have paint on the inside. This interior finish package puts those kinds of things in by the contract."

The board did not approve the other eight proposed alternates to the base bid, though Smith said some items, such as a proposed greenhouse, always could be added later if desired.

The board also pointed out that a cross-country trail is included in the base bid, offering 1.5 and 3 mile routes that start and end at the high school.

Collins Principal Anthony Hatchell was in attendance, and when asked about the plan, he told the board, "I think it's wonderful."

Other items:

  • A few students from The Shelby County Education Center @ Cropper gave a presentation showing some of the activities the center offers.
  • WOW (What Outstanding Work) awards were given to East Middle 6th grade language arts teacher Jennifer Cox, Wright Elementary 4th grade teacher Heidi Floyd, West Middle 7th grade science teacher Melissa Hutchins, and Wright Elementary art teacher Paula Kingsolver.
  • The board approved the state's technology offer of assistance for 2009/2010 in the amount of $86,190. Funds have already been set aside in the existing general fund budget to make the required match of the offer.
  • The board approved a bid for the replacement of the bus hoist at the school bus garage.
  • The finance corporation approved a 20-foot underground easement running on the west side of Discovery Boulevard to allow for electric, cable, fiber and telephone services to Collins High.