The overhaul of Panther Stadium will wait another season.
District staff along with representatives of Schafer, Johnson, Cox and Frey and McCown Gordon announced at the Sept. 23 USD 260 board meeting that they’ll push a majority of the project to November 2020. The field turf is the lone project that will be done at the conclusion of the current season.
Previous plans had the district turning the “keys” over to the stadium at the conclusion of this current season. That included the full renovations of all parts of the facility, but the partnering companies have asked for more time ahead of construction.
“To get everything done on the planning and design side and hit the mark of being ready to go at the end of this November, the construction team needs more time to work the building committee to evaluate the scope of the budget before proceeding in the construction phase,” USD 260 Director of
Operations Joe Dessenberger said.
Dessenberger addressed questions with parking and code issues with the city of Derby, saying the two companies agreed they needed a bigger window to finish the decisions behind the project.
“The construction phase itself, as you talk with McCown Gordon, has a defined time frame,” the district employee said. “You can’t start until the end of football season. We don’t have the ability to relocate a football season somewhere.”
Due to the change, only the field turf will be changed prior to the 2020-21 school year. With the turf project being done over the winter, District Activities Director Russell Baldwin said it’s a minimal timeline that would still allow girls’ soccer to be played there if necessary this spring.
Dessenberger said the track will not be touched this winter because the crews will have to be on the track to demolish the stadium seating next year.
USD 260 Board President Tina Prunier asked whether the turf replacement would be harmed by future construction projects. However, Dessenberger stressed that crews will have necessary space and won’t require the field when renovations begin next fall.