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Mercer School Board Moves Forward With Construction Projects

Athletic Complex To Cost More Than $7 Million

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Robert Moore
Herald Staff

The Mercer County Board of Education is proceeding with their plans to renovate the baseball, softball and soccer fields. At their regular meeting on Tuesday, June 21, they agreed to pay more than $7 million to construct a baseball and softball complex at Mercer County Senior High School. They also proceeded with plans to build a new home for Mercer County Elementary School.

On Tuesday night, the board voted to hire Endris Engineering offers the following bid for surveying services to perform a site survey at the proposed site for the new elementary school on Industry Road. Endris will be paid $4,450 to survey about 20 acres or property. The board discussed an alternative bid which would have cost $17,3000 and included a topographical survey.

Laith Ross of Ross Tarrant Architects in Lexington, which is overseeing the project, said the topographical survey would save money because of escalating costs.

“Prices go up, prices go down. You don’t know what’s going to happen,” Tarrant said.

The board elected to follow Superintendent Jason Booher’s recommendation to go with the base bid because of the three week turnaround. They also hired Consulting Services Incorporated of Kentucky at a cost of $6,000 for geotech services and site acquisition.

Moving onto the athletic complex, the school board awarded the construction contract to the lowest of the three companies, Trace Creek Construction of Vanceburg. Including the base bid plus alternates one—a softball backstop, wall and netting—and alternate two—softball and baseball outfield irrigation systems—the total cost for the project comes to $6,128,000.

The board also awarded the contract for special inspections and materials testing for the athletics project to L.E. Gregg for $35,028.

All motions, including the revised BG-1, passed unanimously.

According to the revised BG-1, the district’s plans for the athletics project include constructing a new baseball field next to the softball field to create a combined sports complex. The new field will have a turf infield, backstop, home dugout with locker room, visitor dugout, bullpens, press box, concession and storage. The softball field will be renovated to add a turf infield, new backstop, new press box, concessions, public rest rooms, new visitor dugout, new home dugout with locker room and bullpens. There will also be a restroom addition to the press box and concessions stand at the soccer field. Everything will cost more than $7 million.

Back In December 2021, when the board first began exploring options to upgrade the baseball and softball facilities, the estimated cost was $2.9 million. The increased prices have been attributed to the increasing costs of raw materials and labor as well as changes in the plumbing code, which requires more fixtures for outdoor plumbing than formerly, as well as increased costs for materials.

Another complication is federal Title IX regulations, which prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or other education program that receives federal funding. The board were told they couldn’t make changes for baseball without making similar changes for softball.

Superintendent Booher said they are hoping to see some work begin in July.

“We’re extremely excited about the future of Mercer County and all the projects,” Booher said.

For the rest of the story, check out this week’s issue of the Harrodsburg Herald. Click here to subscribe.

1 Comment

  1. Darlene on June 29, 2022 at 6:40 pm

    Is having all these sports amenities and spending all these millions of dollars going to bring the school report card grade up any. We rank a C and all our students and teachers are transferring to other schools. Why not buy text books back and pay our teachers to stay and actually stand up and TEACH instead of the kids using computers all day. It’s sad what mercer has become. HOME OF Sports and bullies!

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