Pineville School Board awards bid for $3.29 million athletic field renovations

Published 6:26 pm Wednesday, March 27, 2024

By Jay Compton


The Pineville Independent School Board awarded the bid for construction on their athletic complex to Gilpin Construction out of London at a special called meeting on Monday afternoon. The total cost of the renovations is $3,290,000.

After hearing from architect Ben Boggs of Clotfelter-Samokar and bonding agent Lincoln Theinert of Ross, Sinclair and Associates the board approved a series of measures related to the project. Those include an updated BG-1 form; formally awarding the bid to Gilpin Construction and approving the contract; co-op proposals from Musco for lighting, E&D Specialty Stands for new bleachers and Field Turf for a a synthetic turf practice area; and authorizing the architect to solicit proposals for quality control testing and inspections related to the project.

Gilpin’s bid came in at $200,000 under the bid from DelMae Construction and the $3.29 million total includes all design costs, engineering fees and contingency funds.

“Thanks to our board’s leadership and vision we were able to secure the funding, not only to complete the upgrades that are much needed on our grandstand and press box, we’re also going to have enough bonding capacity to get started soon on a renovation of the Presbyterian Church so we can create primary centers,” Superintendent Russell Thompson said. “I appreciate the board, the I appreciate the legislation, Rep. (Adam) Bowling and Sen. (Johnnie) Turner for their voices on trying to do what they can to help fund public education. Better facilities provide a better educational experience to our students and our community as well. With these upgrades we’re going to have the new parking lot paved and it’s going to make it more pleasant to come to the games. None of that would be possible without the support of the community and the vision of the board.”

Theinert explained that an increase in equalization funds from the state of $90 per student is included in the House budget, Senate budget and Governor’s budget so there is no reason to think it won’t be in the final budget. That increase will give the district a bonding capacity of $7.4 million by July 1, leaving over $4 million available for renovations to the Presbyterian Church building. He added that by July 1, 2026 that bonding capacity will increase by at least another $1.8 million.

“It really is good news. You’ve come a long, long way,” Theinhert said. “It shows the power of the nickel, the power of equalization, and the power of the growth in the equalization formula. It was a year ago when we were trying to figure out how we were going to get to $3 million, now you’re looking at $7.4 and know that it’s going up again on 7-1-26.”

The board temporarily recessed their meeting to conduct a meeting of the Pineville Independent School District Finance Corporation. They approved two resolutions, one authorizing the necessary paperwork to finance the athletic complex project and the other authorizing the sale of school building revenue bonds in the amount of $3.29 million for the project.

The project includes moving the playing field slightly to the south and west so most of the sidelines around the field can be increased from four feet to eight feet wide. Filling in the old city pool, new LED lighting, new grandstands and a new press box, a 33-yard turf practice field, practice areas for the track and field team and paving the new parking lot on Virginia Avenue.

Also during Monday’s meeting, Athletic Director J.D. Strange went over the athletic budget. He shared that the over $21,000 was brought in through the program ad sales, over $41,600 in ticket sales and over $23,000 in concessions giving the athletic department a total revenue of $85,000. He added that the department has already netted over $90,000 from hosting the 13th Region Basketball Tournament.

“We’re waiting on 30% of the concessions and a share of the ticket sales. We had two teams competing and they will get one share each,” he said. “This was our  once in a lifetime — or once every 17 years, so probably once in my lifetime — opportunity. We are finally at the point where next year’s athletic budget can be funded up front. Now it’s just a matter of managing that money, we should have athletics in pretty good shape for a while.”

Thompson thanked Strange for his work in organizing and overseeing the tournament and they both praised the hospitality room which was hosted by staff and parents from the school.

“The hospitality room was a tremendous hit, thanks to Brittany and Alicia and all of those people,” Strange said. “They did an excellent job.”

“On behalf of the board I want to thank Coach Strange for the job he did in running the whole thing,” Thompson said. “You did an excellent job of getting people in the right places. I was showered with compliments about our staff and our people that were able to help.”

Principal Catrina McDermott shared that graduation day will be Sunday, May 19 at 2 p.m. in the new gym. Prom will be May 4 at the Middlesboro Country Club and on May 2 at 6 p.m. there will be a special senior awards night at the Pine Mountain Lodge on May 2 at 6 p.m.

Due to the solar eclipse on April 8, Pineville Schools will be dismissing early. The elementary and intermediate students will be released at 12:30 p.m. and the high school and middle school will be dismissed at 12:30 p.m.

The board also approved the 2024-25 School Calendar. Opening Day will be Thursday, Aug.1 with the first day for students on Aug. 6. Fall Break will be the first week of October and there will be no school on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday during the week of Thanksgiving. Christmas Break starts on Dec. 20 with kids returning to school on Jan. 7. Spring Break is March 30 through April 4 and the tentative last day for students will be May 16.

The board also approved the use of the school for the Cumberland River Behavioral Health’s summer program and the use of the district’s buses to transport spectators for the Pine Mountain HillClimb on April 20 and 21.