School officials are holding off on demolishing Putnam Stadium until they are sure they can find a contractor who will rebuild it at a price they can afford.
Demolition bids are in hand, but the Ashland school board won’t hire a contractor until architects have had a chance to review bids for building new bleachers, and those bids won’t come in until next month, district business manager Tim Walters said.
Of the 12 bids to demolish the 75-year-old stadium, the lowest was $59,900 and the highest was $289,000, he said. Four of them were under $100,000, two were between $100,000 and $200,000 and the remaining bids were over $200,000.
The district’s architects will review the four lowest bids and make a recommendation. However, the recommendation is not likely to be the lowest bid, because that contractor had asked to withdraw and probably wouldn’t take the job if offered, Walters said.
The district is waiting on construction bids because it has a $1.3 million budget to work with and wants to make sure it gets bids that keep the total bill within that limit.
Preliminary estimates suggest some acceptable bids will come in, but officials want to be sure before taking the irrevocable step of demolition.
The clock is ticking on getting the process started, however. Demolition will take two to three weeks and construction of the bleachers, press box, concession stands, restrooms and locker rooms will take another five to six months.
The first Ashland home game in 2013 will be Aug. 30.
The construction is the first phase of a $5 million restoration project, the rest of which will have to wait until more money is raised by a fundraising committee.
The committee has a website, www.putnamstadium.com, with more about the plan and information on how to contribute.
MIKE JAMES can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or