Final plans approved for Pineville Sports Complex

Published 4:19 pm Wednesday, February 28, 2024

The Pineville Independent Board of Education approved the final plans and specifications for renovations to the sports complex at their regular meeting last week and have sent the project out for bid.

Brad Beatty of Clotfelter-Samokar and Associates went over those plans, which include a base bid along with several alternatives, with the board before the vote was taken. Projected costs for the renovations include $566.000 for new bleachers with about 800 seats, $180,000 for new lights, $135,000 for paving the new parking lot, $72,000 for a turf practice area, $85,000 for track and field practice areas and an estimated $1.3 million for construction costs. Also included is a new 8-foot by 48-foot press box.

The total cost for the project, including architectural fees and a 5% contingency,  is estimated to be between $2.8 and $2.9 million.

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If bids were to come in above those projections, alternates were drawn up to remove the track and field, turf practice area and parking lot if necessary to reduce costs.

“If those bids come back and are in line with their estimates, we’ve got enough money to get this project started and the project should be able to be completed in time for football season,’ Pineville Superintendent Russell Thompson said.

Beatty said it might not be ready for the start of the season, but should be ready for Pineville’s first home game.

“We’re really trying to push to get more contractors involved in this one,” he said. “It’s hard because they’re still not hungry for work but it’s getting better that it was six months ago.”

He said HB 678 had been a blessing for a lot of school districts in that it allowed them to do a lot of work on athletic facilities, it also caused there to be an increase in the costs for that work.

“We’ve seen in general about a 30% increase in what fields and other athletic projects cost because everybody’s trying to get it done within a short window of time,” Beatty said. “New legislation is tightening the reins a little and making it to where you have to pair those athletic projects with other projects.”

The board voted unanimously to approve the final plans and put the project out to bid. They also unanimously approved the design and development BG-3 and the BG-1 construction document to send to the Kentucky Department of Education.

With the sports complex renovations approved, Thompson and the board turned their attention to renovating the Presbyterian Church building the district recently acquired and turning it into a Primary Center by the start of the 2025-26 school year.

Thompson shared that the Legislature is proposing an approximately $90 per student increase in equalization funds that could see Pineville’s bonding capacity increase from $5.1 million to $7.25 million by July of this year and increase to $9 million by July of 2026.

“That is a significant difference and it shows that the decision the board made to approve the tax increase is really going to pay off for our kids and our school district,” he said. “This is fantastic news and I really want to thank the board. I appreciate your leadership and guidance through that time. This gets us to where we can have things that provide better opportunities and better facilities for our students.”

While the cost of the sports complex will be subtracted from the total bonding capacity, that leaves over $4 million available for the Primary Center.

“It looks like we will have the funding in place by July of 2024 and my goal is for us to have the preschool operating in that building by August of 2025,” Thompson said.

While the district is not committed to using Clotfelter-Samokar for design work on that project, Thompson asked Beatty to explain what the time-line for the Primary Center would look like.

“I wouldn’t sit on it too long. Yes, you’ll be able to get the money in July but a lot of the design work can happen between now and then. That will get you ready to start the construction project sometime between August and October,” he said. “That gives them 10 months to get that building ready for you to open in August of ‘25. The longer we can give them to work on it the cheaper the price will be.”

He added that the more time a design firm can spend working on a project it makes it less likely that change order will be needed to correct unforeseen problems.

Without knowing the exact details and condition of the building he said creating classrooms in the bottom floor of the church should come in well under the $4 million that the district should have available.

The board approved having survey work on the new property done as soon as possible and will begin the process of finding an official designer to make exact plans for the project.

Thompson added that he had recently taken both State Rep. Adam Bowling and State Sen. Johnnie Turner to look at the Presbyterian building and the football field.

“I and the board want to make sure that we show our appreciation to them for fighting in Frankfort for us. Their work on the budget is providing us the opportunity to do these projects,” he said. “We also want to thank the community for their support of the tax increase. It’s a really special time for Pineville because now we’re able to have these discussions about what we can do with that funding that’s best suited for our community and our kids going forward.”