GIPS approves construction contract for stadium renovation

13 November 2018

The construction contract for the first phase of the renovation of Grand Island Senior High Memorial Stadium was awarded to Lincoln-based Hausmann Construction.

The Grand Island Public Schools Board of Education approved the $14 million contract during a special meeting Monday night. The bid is a bit higher than estimated for the project that will upgrade both the 71-year-old Memorial Stadium.

“It’s higher than we hoped,” said Virgil Harden, chief financial officer of the district.

He said with approval of the bid that the GIPS Foundation fundraising portion of the project for phase one has to come in at $3.3 million. Even by meeting that goal, about $700,000 more would be needed for the initial phase.

He presented the board with some options to cover that shortfall. A couple options would be to pay for it using reserve money or borrowing the funds. The foundation could also be asked to raise more than the $3.3 million for phase one.

Traci Skalberg, executive director of the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation, was asked if she could provide an update on the fundraising. She told the board she would be more comfortable giving a public update in January because they need the end of the year to finish strong.

“We’ve got a lot of pending grants out there. Things are starting to pick up real strong for us,” she said.

Overall cost of the project is estimated to be $17 million.

The first phase includes increasing permanent seating capacity from 2,896 to 5,109; improved restrooms, concessions and locker rooms; a two-tiered press box at the west stadium; meeting space at the west stadium; seating that meets current codes and Americans with Disabilities Act regulations; and updated infrastructure for technology.

Cost for the project includes a $10 million gift from Grand Island Senior High School graduate Lanny Martin and a $2 million commitment from GIPS. The remaining is being raised by through the foundation’s capital campaign.

The stadium was constructed and dedicated in 1947 as a memorial for Hall County veterans who served during World War II. Part of the project includes the preservation and making improvements to the memorial section at the east stadium.

Once money is raised for the first phase, plans are to raise additional funds to improve the east stadium, plans that include adding 425 more permanent seats, expanding the locker room and training area, adding a family restroom and expanding the concessions area.

The district received three bids from general contractors for the project. Hausmann’s was the lowest. The approved bid includes removing the existing track surface and install of a new surface.