A ‘sweetheart of a deal’ was accepted by the Abilene School Board to engage in a contract with Mammoth Construction of Meriden for construction of a ‘new’ track and turf football field with major upgrades to Cowboy Stadium at a special meeting Friday morning, Valentine’s Day.
Mammoth Construction had the low bid that the board considered at the regular monthly meeting on Feb. 10 and, at that time, members of the board wanted more clarification concerning the proposal. A meeting was held with representatives of Mammoth and the USD 435 Facilities Task Force Committee.
Mammoth’s bid was the lowest at $1.41 million while Hellas was highest at $2.22 million. ATG was $2.19 million.
Friday morning, board president Kyle Becker outlined the proposal from Mammoth Construction to the entire BOE and explained that the Task Force Committee was recommending Mammoth Construction for the project to redo Cowboy Stadium.
Becker said the committee had reviewed all three proposals under consideration and they were recommending Mammoth Construction.
“Our stadium was built in 1937 to the best of our knowledge,” Becker said. “We believe it is time for some upgrades.”
Board member Chris West moved and it was seconded by Veronica Murray to award the contract to Mammoth Construction. The motion passed unanimously.
Mammoth Construction was selected over rival companies ATG Sports and Hellas Construction to begin the process of designing a ‘new look’ to Cowboy Stadium beginning with relocating the eight lane running track and the installation of an artificial turf field.
“Mammoth’s references came glowingly,” Greg Brown, Abilene superintendent, told the BOE. “They were very knowledgeable and they have the highest integrity. I was really impressed with their presentation. They also mentioned that they would be with us for years after the installation with yearly checks and retraining if needed.”
Mammoth Construction is responsible for the turf field at Bill Snyder Family Stadium at Kansas State University and they have done other college work within the state. They are also well represented with Kansas high schools at Shawnee Heights, Girard and Jefferson West with pending projects at St. Mary’s and several others throughout the state.
Becker and Brown emphasized to the board that aesthetic changes to the drawings shown could and would probably be “tweaked” as necessary throughout the project.
The BOE is planning a Capital Fund Raising Campaign with more information to come shortly. The Mammoth Construction plan would conceivably be started at the conclusion of the 2020 football season with expectation to have the track and field turf ready for the 2021 spring track and field season. Construction of stadium seating, locker rooms, concessions and press box may extend throughout the summer months if necessary with the completion goal before the start of the 2021 football season.
In another matter, the BOE voted to extend the contracts of building administrators Dr. Ben Smith, Dr. Twila Sprouse, Will Burton, Jenna Delay and Ethan Gruen an additional year through the 2021-2022 school year.
After an executive session to discuss personnel issues, board member Jeff Bathurst moved and West seconded the motion to extend those contracts. The motion carried.