The construction project currently underway at Carroll High School’s athletic facilities is about 70% complete, according to Project Manager Tim Motycka of Weigand Construction.
“As far as the critical milestone dates, we’re where we want to be,” Motycka told members of the Board of School Trustees on Feb. 8.
The project, which includes upgrades to several of Carroll’s athletic and performing arts facilities, as well as an expansion of the school’s parking, broke ground in March 2020. The largest component — a new football stadium — is expected to be completed by June. Motycka said he estimates the construction of all buildings and bleachers within the stadium will be completed by April. The running surface on the new track is slated to be finished by May, and the stadium’s sidewalks and landscaping are scheduled for completion by June.
Other components still underway include roofing on the new dugouts constructed at the school’s soccer field, and the new parking lot as well as improvements to the bus drive and NACS Natatorium parking lot — all of which are expected to be completed before August.
“We’re fortunate that COVID hasn’t really impacted the project much at all,” Motycka said. “Guys have had to quarantine here and there, but for the most part it hasn’t slowed things down.”
Once completed, Carroll’s new football stadium will be able to seat 4,752 people in the home bleachers and 2,004 on the visitor side. The soccer bleachers will have a capacity of 904.
“That puts us in a position where we can legitimately host events that we were never considered for hosting in the past,” NACS Superintendent Chris Himsel said. “And then (we’re) able to deal with traffic management. If you’ve been out there on homecoming night, you know that the 1968 field was not built to accommodate the kind of crowds that we receive if we play Dwenger or Homestead or we play at homecoming or any of those kind of events.”
Once the upgrades are fully completed, Himsel said the school may also have students, staff, parents and buses enter campus through separate entrances during athletic events to improve traffic flow.
Himsel noted that in addition to requiring less maintenance than grass, the new synthetic surface at the football stadium will allow for several more uses outside of Friday nights. The stadium will also be utilized by the school’s soccer teams, baseball and softball teams and performing arts groups. The new track surface as well as working restrooms will be welcome additions as well.
“Some of our track runners have competed extremely well at the state level, but you would never know it based on the condition of the track that we had,” Himsel said. “… We’re excited about being able to host some band events so we don’t have to have kids traveling three hours at 5 a.m. in the morning and then coming back at midnight.”
John Miller, NACS’ chief operations officer, also pointed out that the school corporation did not spend as much money as it had anticipated, which has created the opportunity to incorporate additional work into the project.
“The history of the location told us that we needed to anticipate soil issues and would need to remediate those, but the timing of the project, the weather, different things like that have worked to our benefit, and so we do have some contingency monies left over in there,” Himsel said.
The corporation will seek bids for work on the school’s softball and baseball areas as well as a nearby storage building.
Work already completed on the site improvement project includes:
Band practice fields
• New lights
• Relocated existing band tower and installed new band tower
• New asphalt practice field striped with yard markings
• New grass practice field
Athletic practice fields
• New fence around perimeter
• Grass seeded in fall 2020
• New lights
• New dugouts (blocks have been laid)
• New bleachers with press box
New football/track stadium
• Synthetic turf completed
• Track asphalt installed
• Bleacher installation underway
• Elevator tower to press box
• New storage building
• Home concession stand (complete punch-list items)
• Visitor concession stand (complete punch-list items)
• Locker room (interior finishes underway)
• Three new ticket booths
• Sidewalks (approximately 80% complete)
New parking lot/old football stadium
• Demolition of bleachers buildings and track complete
• Underground sanitary storm piping underway