On Monday night, the Ottumwa Board of Education approved three bids for the first phase of the Schafer renovation project. The projects were presented by Kim Mulch with Klingner and Associates, the architectural firm who has handled the planning of the stadium renovation.
Projects approved include:
- Grandstand bleachers and new visitor bleachers Hanson Sports, Inc. $796,500
- Field turf and infill Mid-America Golf and Landscape $891,320
- Field lighting Van Maanen Electric, Inc. $309,000
The biggest change will be the new playing field, which will be raised five feet to be level with the track. The field will then have AstroTurf installed. The result will be the creation of a community field that can be used year round, regardless of weather. "The artificial turf opens up a world of possibilities to do more things in the stadium," said Mike Egbert, athletic director. Those could include teams that traditionally wouldn't use the field. Other users could include various youth sports, band competitions, community events, Challenger leagues, and Special Olympics. The infill also allows the field to be used for soccer. Even the OHS band will have increased access to the field during marching season in the fall without fear of damaging the field. The infill also improves access for all students.
Another significant change will be the home seating. A new I-beam steel structure will cover the existing cement structure, providing over 2,200 seats for the home crowd. This reduces the cost but will not affect the finished product. Spectators will never know the former seating is still in place. A new 750-seat visitor section will be installed on the north side of the track and temporary bleachers for the band will be located in the west end zone.
Field lighting will also be upgraded to include new Musco lights and standards.
"The project is very time and schedule sensitive so we can meet the fall football schedule," said Mulch. "No bidders have problems with the schedule." Work is scheduled to begin immediately. He anticipates the field will be completed in early July.
The board also approved Phase II of the renovation project, to include adding doors to the pavilion, locker room upgrade, embankment work, and press box updates. District staff still plan to do some of the work, including painting, installing a HVAC unit and fluorescent lights. Bids will be sought beginning on April 11.