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FARMINGTON -- Plans to build an indoor practice facility as part of Phase III at the new Farmington High School athletic complex have been scrapped, according to Superintendent Bryan Law.

Law explained that the elimination of the indoor facility was due to budget constraints.

"We're looking at ways to trim some costs," Law said at the Jan. 22 School Board meeting. "We probably won't know what the final bid numbers are until some time in April."

Phase III includes a football/soccer stadium, concessions and bathroom facility, bleachers, press box, separate track and field facility and other amenities.

The district has shaved about $3 million off the project and another $1 million must be trimmed.

"We were going to put an indoor practice facility in, we have taken it out," Law said, explaining this line item represents the single biggest savings for the project.

"That saved us a little over $2 million," Law said.

Farmington head football coach Mike Adams, who ended the 2017 season with 197 career victories, would have preferred to keep the indoor practice facility in the project. That is one of two things Adams feels are "must-have" for the football program, the other being a quality weight room capable of serving swelling numbers of student/athletes coming out for football.

"My first and biggest concern as football coach has always been the weight room," Adams said in an interview last Wednesday. "The weight room we have now is designed for 25 to 30 people. We have 40 to 50 kids in there at a time. We're a little crowded. At times it can be dangerous."

Adams said the program is still getting a new weight room, just not as large as originally projected.

"The next thing is the indoor practice facility, that would provide so much more opportunities for practices regardless of the weather," Adams said. "I guess we're just going to have to wait."

"The stadium is more geared towards the fans, what I'm mainly concerned with is the weight room. We spend more time there than anywhere else."

A plan to construct facilities underneath the visitor's bleachers in the new football stadium also has been taken out of the project. Law said a standalone structure for visiting teams will cost less than installing something under the bleachers.

Among other changes to the project, a proposed two-story press box will be reduced to one story. Law said the square footage will remain about the same by lengthening out the press box.

Lights and bleachers at the track and field facilities have been temporarily bumped, but Law said those will be installed later. The project will include part of the pad for the bleachers.

Last week, Law said the district has been able to make $10,000 to $20,000 in changes to reduce the overall costs and after a while, those add up to quite a bit.

For example, he said the school will save $20,000 by using a galvanized chain-link fence around the perimeter of the stadium. A black, vinyl chain-link fence that looks much nicer will be used closer to the football field.

The stadium scoreboard also will not be a part of the bid package. The district plans to do that project itself. Another change was to reduce seating on the visitor side by 500.

School officials and others are still looking at ways to save money but Law said he believes they are finished with taking out most of the bigger items. Now, it will be looking at the inside of the facilities and seeing if any costs can be saved in some of those areas.

At the same time, Law said he's hopeful actual bids will be better than expected.

The proposed time-frame is to advertise for bids around the first of April and open bids in early May.

Lynn Kutter with the Enterprise-Leader contributed to this report.

General News on 02/07/2018

Print Headline: Farmington Scales Back Athletic Facilities

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