Stadium Field renovation faces shortfall

PARKERSBURG – Although the gap is narrowing in the shortfall to complete the renovations to Stadium Field, there is still a shortfall, members of the Wood County Board of Education learned.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Ryan K. Taylor, president of Pickering Associates, said the project is now $400,000 short of funds. He said to date $1,251,840 has been spent but there is only $211,160 left and about $600,000 worth of work left.

Taylor asked the board to give him the flexibility to get the stadium to the point where it can be used but not have everything complete.

Taylor said they do not have to complete every item and they are working on a list of things that must be done.

“There are several things we can do to get the stadium occupied and leave some things off,” he said. “The key is I’m not going to have enough money every time I come back to you. I’d like to have some flexibility.”

Board member Jim Fox said the recent door-to-door canvass of Parkersburg raised $20,000 for the project.

Taylor said the third bid package came in at $617,410.

“We have $211,000 to finish the project, and, of course, that is not enough,” he said. “If you take the $275,000 we took out, that leaves us at $771,000 and they agreed to take off $153,900, so that leaves the package at $617,410.

“We have $211,000 in the bank; our shortfall is $400,000.”

Taylor said there could be additional costs and there could be savings.

Some things he recommended for savings included using chain link fence for the railing and not adding an extra ADA compliant ramp until a later time.

“We are working our tails off, the committee, the board and the kids; we only have $211,000,” he said. “Some of the things the contractors are telling me is they have risk money placed in their bids in case certain things happen.

“They are telling me if we are willing to share the risks they will give it up.”

Taylor said he needs flexibility to keep the project going.

“With your blessing to do things in a sequence that does not cost as much,” he said. “If we get some of the precast before we get the front aisle in, it will be difficult to get that last row in.”

Taylor said he would like to start from the bottom and build up to the last row of seats.

“We could move forward doing priority items, but if the board is not comfortable with that I understand,” he said. “But we have $211,000 and we can do it in small chunks and also protect your risk.”

Taylor said they wanted to avoid rebidding the stadium project. Fox said that was something the board did not want to do unless it was absolutely necessary.

In a unanimous vote, the school board voted to approve the third bid package.