Architects have made changes and cuts to their plans for a project to add soccer fields and improve drainage at Seymour High School.
Bids for construction recently came back over the district’s $1.8 million budget for the project, which is being funded through a $2 million general obligation bond.
The reason for the bids coming back higher was the elevated costs of materials and labor, said project manager Jamie Lake with Kovert Hawkins Architects.
By eliminating some features and reducing the scope of the work, the project will be rebid in the next couple of weeks with the hope of saving hundreds of thousands of dollars, Superintendent Rob Hooker said.
Although delayed by the rejection of the first bids, site work could still begin this winter, and the fields should be finished next summer in time for the 2016 fall soccer season, Hooker added.
This fall, soccer will continue to be played at C.B. Hess Memorial Soccer Field at the Freeman Field Sports Complex.
Changes to the new plans include scaling down the bleachers and press box and not building a concession stand or restrooms at this time, reducing the number of new parking areas from three to one, not adding lighting for parking, reducing the height of a perimeter security fence from 10 feet to 5 feet, eliminating the scoreboard, field irrigation and special entrance that included signage and landscaping and reducing the size of a planned retention area.
Instead, those items and others will be bid as alternates so school board members can pick and choose which options they want and can afford with the money they have available.
Lake said the most important part of the project is the artificial turf soccer field and the underground drainage system.
Other items can be added in the future if more money is allotted, he said.
When completed, the new soccer facilities will include a full-size artificial turf field for boys and girls soccer games along with a full-size practice field that also will be used by the high school marching band and physical education classes.
The complex will be located in the large area between the varsity baseball diamond and the softball diamond just west of the school.
There will be one new parking area with 93 spaces available and a large grassy, fenced-in detention area to help alleviate flooding.
Matt Gullo with Kovert Hawkins went over the changes in detail Thursday night during a special school board meeting. He estimated the new plan could save more than $650,000.
For seating, the new specs include a prefabricated smaller bleacher and press box unit that will seat 320 people. The school also owns two sets of portable bleachers that can be used.
Original plans called for a two-story press box building, concession building and restrooms, which required a lot of concrete work and utility service, including water, sewer and electric, Gullo said.
The district also is saving a significant amount of money by adding just one parking lot, due to the elevated cost of asphalt, he added.
“By reducing the scope and making it more simplified, we are reducing the overall cost of the project,” Gull said. “However, we are not losing anything essential to the plan.”