Trussville City Schools officials expect bids on athletic facility improvement project this month
By David Lazenby
TRUSSVILLE – As part of an ongoing effort to make all of its sports teams competitive — and improve the gameday experience for team fans and supporters — Trussville City Schools is working on a project to improve several athletic facilities.
Lance Walker, the athletics director for Trussville City Schools, said planned facility improvements will benefit the Hewitt-Trussville High School’s baseball, softball and soccer teams.
The school system is currently awaiting bids on a construction package that will include the development of locker rooms for all three teams, a weight room to be used by the baseball and softball teams, player restroom facilities, dugout areas for the soccer teams, an office for its baseball coach and bleachers adjacent to the soccer field that will accommodate 500 spectators.
Currently, the baseball and softball teams use a weight room at Hewitt-Trussville Middle School. Because of overcrowding at the current weight room, the new 2,000-square foot weight room will offer the teams better equipment accessibility.
Barry Davis, the school system facility coordinator, said, “Substantially, it’s much better than what they currently have. It’s a big improvement for our programs and our kids.”
Trussville City Schools Superintendent Pattie Neill said school system officials have been discussing the planned improvements for about a year.
“We’re very excited about upgrading for each team,” she said.
“We want all of our student athletes to have access to facilities that will help them improve and be as successful as they can,” Walker said. “These additions are going to help them.”
Davis said bidding on the project package would begin this month. He said the bids have already been advertised, as required by law.
Alabama state law requires that certain expenditures of city and county school boards involving $15,000 or more are subject to competitive bidding requirements.
Walker said the school system’s budget for the project is approximately $1.3 million.
Davis said he has concerns that recent natural disasters may have affected construction costs, which could result in an inflated price tag for the project.
Davis said architectural drawings for the planned improvements have already been sent to the state’s building commission for approval, a process required of state school systems. He said the plans were drawn by Ryan Vernon and Samantha Wilson of Lathan Associates Architects PC of Hoover.
Walker said the new bleachers expected to be completed this spring, will be a major improvement from the smaller bleachers currently at the team’s competition field.
“We’ve kind of outgrown what we have,” he said.
Added Davis: “We want to compete at a championship level in all our sports. I think this backs that up because we are taking a deep dive look at all our teams and make sure they have proper facilities.”
Davis said once the low bidder is awarded, a timeline for the work will be established. He added that he does not expect all the work to be finished before the teams that will benefit from the planned improvements start their upcoming seasons.
“We will make accommodations,” Davis said. “They can play while this work is going on.”
Neill said the new facilities will also include an office area for the high school’s baseball coaches. She said the school’s softball coaches already have offices.
Neill added that the school system began to consider the improvements being made for the baseball and softball teams after previously looking at improving the lighting on the baseball and softball fields. She said the work was postponed until this school year so it wouldn’t affect the teams during their seasons.