Barron Stadium to get new scoreboard, Rome calling for design proposals to add a six-court indoor facility to tennis center

23 May 2018

Rome's purchasing department is preparing a request for bids to provide a new scoreboard at the city's Barron Stadium.

City Manager Sammy Rich said he's hoping for a quick turn-around since the city school system is hosting the first games of the state's traditional high school football kickoff series on Aug. 16.

"We want to get the scoreboard installed prior to the Corky Kell Kickoff Classic," he told the City Commission. "We're actually shooting for that, but if we can't get it in by then, it will be shortly after that."

Rome High will take on Marietta that night after Calhoun plays Ridgeland.

The 2017 special purpose, local option sales tax package contains $825,000 for Barron Stadium improvements, with $225,000 earmarked for a new state-of-the art scoreboard.

Collections won't start until the 2013 SPLOST expires next spring. However, commissioners approved a resolution last week that allows them to start projects early and reimburse the general fund with SPLOST money when the revenue comes in.

On Monday they gave Rich the go-ahead to order the scoreboard. Later improvements will include replacing the stadium's artificial turf, which is approaching the end of its estimated 10-year life span, and remodeling the press box.

Commissioners also approved the issuance of $4 million in bonds to finance six covered courts at the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College. Design proposals, due from interested architectural firms by June 15, could be based on covering existing courts or building new ones.

The RFP sets general parameters — a climate-controlled indoor facility to accommodate NCAA collegiate tournament-level play, with seating for 350 spectators. Additional features such as a lobby, restrooms, locker rooms, storage space and meeting rooms could be included if they can fit into a $3.1 million cap on construction costs.

Commissioners also approved Hill Crest Baptist Church's request to rezone its property at 2202 North Broad St. from residential to office-institutional.

Parishioner Bill Clifton told the Rome-Floyd County Planning Commission there are no immediate plans for the vacant area but "in a few years we hope to add on to the church as growth picks up."