By Ashley Rader
The Elizabethton City Schools Capital Projects Committee has agreed on a recommendation that the Elizabethton Board of Education not exceed $3.5 million for the athletic complex and use the remaining $1.5 million of the current $5 million bond for the new band room/classroom renovations at Elizabethton High School.
The committee has spent weeks reviewing proposed conceptual plans to get an idea of what the costs of the three capital projects the system would like to complete would be. In addition to the athletic complex and new classrooms at EHS, the board has also been discussing eight new classrooms for T.A. Dugger Junior High School.
At the last workshop, Mayor Curt Alexander asked the committee to get a cost estimate of what renovations to Brown-Childress stadium at TAD would be to compare with the cost of the completely new athletic complex at EHS.
Architect Tom Weems and Ed O’Hara with CHA Sports presented the board with the estimated cost of renovations at TAD, along with updated estimates for the EHS project.
The new costs for the complex at EHS in the new location at the edge of the student parking lot that was discussed at the last workshop was $4.042 million. This amount would cover the cost of a complex with synthetic turf, 3,750 seats, lighting, restrooms, concessions and other site improvements. The cost of the scoreboard was not included. O’Hara explained scoreboards are an item that can usually be obtained as a donation.
To renovate the stadium at TAD would come at an estimated cost of $3.865 million. This included demolishing the current home grandstand and rebuilding a smaller set of seats that would be outside of the 30-foot boundary for the fire code for the future addition. The seats that were lost in the reduction would be rebuilt on the visitor’s side, which would become the home side. Bathrooms and concessions stands would be relocated and the playing field would get artificial turf.
The committee agreed that spending that amount of money on an aging stadium would not be the best course of action when it would still leave the issues of parking and community safety unanswered if the stadium remained at TAD.