THIS STORY COURTESY THE KINGSPORT TIMES-NEWS, PHOTOS BY THE DOUGLASS WEBSITE - CLICK ON THE PICTURES TO MAKE THEM LARGER
By MATTHEW LANE
According to the conceptual plan, the sports complex will have four ballfields, in a wagonwheel design with a centrally located two-story building for scoring, concessions and restrooms. Two of the fields will be 325 feet, one 350-foot championship field with terrace seating and a fourth field at 300 feet.
The other action taken by the BMA last week in relation to the project was awarding a contract to Thomas Construction for site work (mass grading, detention pond, retaining wall). The 120-day contract is for approximately $1.25 million.
As it stands, the project is estimated to cost around $6.4 million, not including the $380,000 for the land. A fifth field would increase the final cost by $1.1 million. Potentially $8 million could easily be spent on the project in the long run.
“On average that’s what you’re paying to build a four-plex similar to what we’re proposing,” Mc-Cartt said.
But in December, $2.9 million of bond funds was secured for the project and since then city officials have admitted that additional funds would be necessary to complete the project.
During last week’s meeting, members of the BMA did not raise a fuss about the projected cost of the project, but in subsequent telephone conversations, they did express their concerns about the estimated cost.
At this time, Phillips said he is leaning toward building the fifth field if economically possible.
McIntire offered a similar sentiment, but said he is not comfortable with the dollar amount.
“It’s one of those projects that we really don’t have options with. It’s something Eastman has asked us to do and I think we’re committed to doing it,” McIntire said. “I’d like to wait and see the numbers, but I think if there’s a way to do it now I’d support going ahead, getting it done and doing it right.”