Stadium on time, on budget, VanHuss says

Published 12:01 am Saturday, April 18, 2015

Work on the new Citizens Bank Stadium at Elizabethton High School is progressing on schedule and on budget, according to system leaders.

The stadium work is around 30 percent complete and around $38,000 has been saved on the $3.5 million price tag for the construction project, assistant superintendent Richard VanHuss said.

Earlier this year, the Elizabethton Board of Education approved a measure that would allow the school system to buy supplies for the project directly from the supplier. Because of the school system’s public tax status, the system saves on the sales tax for those items, VanHuss said.

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The early estimates for the savings for the work was around $30,000 but VanHuss said that amount had already been passed.

“When the project was put out for bid, we pulled those supplies back,” VanHuss said. “We met the requirements to be able to do that. We purchase those directly and we have saved quite a bit on the sales tax for those.”

This purchasing method is not ideal for all supplies, VanHuss said. Larger purchases, such as stadium lights, plumbing fixtures and seating would make good candidates for that option, but smaller purchases such as extra tubes of caulking or screws would be purchased normally.

As for the construction, portions of the work are either on schedule or ahead of schedule, VanHuss said.

“The last progress meeting we has was positive,” he said. “We are happy with the way things are moving and holding our breath that we do not get a lot of rain.”

So far, the area of construction has been graded, plumbing fixtures installed and work on the restrooms and concessions have started, interim superintendent Corey Gardenhour. The next steps will be installing poles for the stadium lights and pouring concrete slabs for the grandstands and around the field to secure the turf.

“We will be starting the field drainage system that will go underneath the turf next week,” Gardenhour said. “The turf will not go in until later. The drainage system includes large tiles that will be placed under the field to draw the water away from the playing surface.”

It is possible the home grandstands will be installed in May, which is part of the project that is ahead of schedule, VanHuss said.

“We are where we need to be on schedule,” Gardenhour said. “We are very happy with the progress that has been made and we hope everyone enjoys watching the stadium go up.”