The new bleachers will cost $118,720 and will be paid through the permanent improvement fund. The project by Dant Clayton has been bid through the Norwalk City Schools membership with the Sourcewell Purchasing Cooperative, formerly called the National Joint Alliance Powers.
During Tuesday’s board meeting, Superintendent George Fisk said the board needed to make a decision so the bleachers would be ready for the next football season. Board members have discussed the bleachers at various meetings.
“The bleachers are quickly approaching the end of their life, if not already past it,” Fisk said.
Dant Clayton is handling the project. The Louisville, Ky. company also oversaw the upgrade of the Whitney Field home bleachers, which were replaced and renovated just in time for the opening of the 2017 football season when the Truckers hosted Willard.
The new visitor-side bleachers will have a capacity of 786 people, which is slightly more than what the current structure holds. They will have three entry points and will be handicapped-accessible with spaces for wheelchairs and caregivers.
Board member John Lendrum said there needs to be portable bathrooms on the visitors’ side of Whitney Field, so fans “don’t miss half the game” while waiting to use the restrooms on the home side.
Ken Arthur, Richland County chief inspector and building official, inspected the new home-side bleachers and received the OK for use the afternoon before the 2017 opening football game. Arthur works for the Richland County Building Department, a government agency which handles the inspections for Huron, Richland, Ashland, Wyandot, Seneca and Crawford counties.
In February 2017, the school board accepted a $282,562 bid to replace and upgrade the home-side bleachers. The entire process took slightly longer than a month.