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Last updateWed, 19 Nov 2014 8pm

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Hunter Field upgrade will cost $2M more than new stadium

King George gets location report on stadium option sites

The members of the King George Board of Supervisors last week received a written draft location report proposed to provide information toward making a decision on whether to build a new high school stadium or completely upgrade Hunter Field.
County Administrator Travis Quesenberry told supervisors at last week’s work session, June 8, that he had provided the report to Superintendent Candace Brown.
The report from CHA, Inc., an engineering/design firm, recommends building a new stadium at KGHS.  

It’s from the same company that provided the estimate of $120,000 for a short-term solution to get Hunter Field in shape for this fall.  That plan was rejected by the School Board, which instead hired a teacher to provide upkeep.
The latest CHA report notes pros and cons for each location site, but the most obvious factor is that it says it would cost $2 million more to completely upgrade Hunter Field, than it would to build a new stadium next to the new King George High School.

COST ESTIMATES    
The cost estimate of $5,638,400 to upgrade Hunter Field includes some costs CHA says are needed to be expended, that aren’t needed if a new stadium is build at KGHS.
CHA estimates the cost to build a new stadium at $3,596,800.
Costs for demolition of Hunter Field are estimated at $30,000, while demolition at KGHS is listed at only $5,000.
Hunter Field would need to be demolished because it was determined that to fit the football field with a safety zone and to provide space to also accommodate regulation soccer play, the field would need to be moved northeastward.
To shift the field, the north embankment would need grading, along with construction of a retaining wall. That would entail moving the 50-yard line, necessitating new bleachers to be constructed, with the existing bleachers removed.
It includes $420,000 for an additional building to be constructed for restrooms and concessions, along with $450,000 for construction of additional parking at Hunter Field.

RESTROOMS    
The report contradicts the fact that, though small and likely inadequate for the number of spectators, the site actually has restrooms onsite at the school, which are unlocked for outside access during games.
The report instead states that “There are no public restrooms available on site” at the Hunter Field location and notes that portable toilets are brought in for events.
Among other higher costs for Hunter Field, the report adds in a significantly bigger price tag for provision of county water and sewer to the site and for construction of storm water management facilities.
While it also does not include costs to relocate the School Board’s bus garage, the report recommends, “that the bus facility be relocated to make additional (parking) space for vehicles.”
A new bus garage is a completely separate proposed capital project, which appears in the proposed county Capital Improvement Program (CIP) as a future project, with no funding and no cost estimates provided by the School Board, which requested it for the first time in the current year.  

PROS & CONS – HUNTER FIELD     
The CHA report notes some advantages for locating the stadium at Hunter Field.
Those include, “a history that the community finds nostalgic,” along with the site creating a natural bowl for the field.
Another advantage noted is sufficient buffering between adjacent properties, so that lighting and noise are not issues for neighbors.
The report notes Hunter Field’s disadvantages, with the higher cost being the main one.  
It also includes the opinion that traffic access is “not ideal,” and the report says there would be additional costs to the division for busing athletes from the high school to Hunter Field.

PROS & CONS – NEW STADIUM    
The CHA report notes the big disadvantage of building a new stadium at the high school because of the unwanted light and noise to Heritage Hall nursing home across the road. The report also cites the biggest advantage as lower cost.
Other advantages cited in the report note that some of the toilet requirements can be met by using restrooms within the school, along with utility connections already on site.  
Other advantages include that only one support building is needed instead of two and the site has good vehicular access and no new parking would need to be constructed.

To download the CHA report please click here.

Phyllis Cook
Staff Reporter

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