PERRY -- The Houston County school board gave final approval Tuesday for a new stadium to be built near Houston County High School.
The stadium, which primarily would serve Houston County and Veterans high schools, will cost about $10.9 million, with another $522,000 going toward FieldTurf artificial turf and $269,000 for lighting from Musco. The money primarily will come from 1-cent sales tax funds.
“I think it’ll add a lot to our school system, and it’ll take away from the load on McConnell-Talbert (Stadium) and Perry,” board Vice Chairwoman Helen Hughes said.
Currently, Houston County, Northside and Warner Robins high schools all play at McConnell-Talbert, while Veterans and Perry play at Perry’s stadium.
Construction on the new facility is expected to be complete in time for the start of the 2016 football season. Tuesday’s approval of the guaranteed maximum price amendment to the contract with Parrish Construction allows the contractor to get permits necessary to begin the building process.
“Hopefully, by the end of the month, first of November, they’ll break ground over there,” Superintendent Mark Scott said.
Even though the artificial turf at McConnell-Talbert has taken away concerns about wear and tear with three schools sharing the field, the new stadium will alleviate scheduling issues. If home games for Houston County, Northside or Warner Robins high schools fall on the same week under the current arrangement, one of those teams might have to play on Thursday.
“That’s not always conducive to Friday morning school,” Scott said.
He added that the district was “very happy” with the FieldTurf product in use at McConnell-Talbert and that the same product would be installed at the new stadium.
The board also recognized teachers with 30, 35 and 40 years of service within the county. Brenda Arnett, Kelly Dempsey, Regina Ford, Pamelia Harper, Vicki Jones, Elizabeth Leever, Barbara Studstill, Gwendolyn Taylor and Hilliard Turner were all honored for 30 years in the district, with Argene Claxton and Marlene Turner putting in 35 years. Ethel Blackmon, currently at Thomson Middle School, was the lone employee recognized for 40 years in the county.
“Obviously, Houston County is blessed to keep our own people, and you are the reason we are successful,” board member Bryan Upshaw told the teachers in attendance.
To contact writer Jeremy Timmerman, call 744-4331.