By Ashley Rader
Assistant Superintendent Richard VanHuss presented the latest conceptual plans for the athletic complex at Elizabethton High School, making the same presentation he made to the Capital Projects Committee on Thursday.
In the presentation, VanHuss told the board that the complex and plans for a new band room and classrooms at EHS would have exceeded the $5 million budget as it had been planned. To bring the project back in line with the budget, the rubberized track had been eliminated from the plans, with the option to build it separately at a later date. By removing the track, the stadium has an estimated cost of $3.8 million.
“This was all driven by the budget,” VanHuss said.
Because the track was postponed, the location of the stadium was questioned. If the stadium remained where it was originally planned, which was at EHS in the practice field where the current track is, then there would be no other location to build the track at the city schools.
To maintain the facilities for the sports and band programs as they are, the new locations for the stadium was selected at the western edge of the student parking lot along with the grassy area where the old tennis courts used to be.
The current band room will be renovated to have five additional classroom spaces and a new band room and chorus room will be built at an estimated cost of $1.7 million. A new paved parking lot is planned for $300,000 for the back of the school if the budget allows.
“If you look at it, this location makes sense,” VanHuss said. “It is not harming the baseball, softball, track or the band programs. There will be additional parking at the back of the school which will make up for the loss of parking spaces. This plan gets us closer to completing two quality projects than any other configuration.”