UNION COUNTY — Under a proposed plan involving $1.3 million worth improvements there will be no more “kicking the can down the road” when it comes to addressing the needs of the Union County Stadium.
On Monday, Union County Supervisor Frank Hart met with the Union County Board of School Trustees to discuss the stadium, the rental agreement between the district and the county, and plans to make improvements to the facility. The meeting between Hart and the board was held in executive session after which the board came back out into open session and voted unanimously to allow Hart to send out a Request For Proposals (RFPs) for work on the stadium. The motion states that once the RFPs have been received a small committee will review them. It states Hart will then compose a rental agreement for approval by the board with changes to be made to the stadium detailed along with the new yearly rental price.
During a special meeting of Union County Council Thursday evening, Hart said that in his presentation to the school board he’d presented a general outline of planned improvements at the stadium. Hart said the project, which is budgeted at $1.3 million would include improvements in three especially crucial areas. He said the improvements would be made in the following order based on the most pressing needs of the stadium:
• Addressing safety issues.
• Addressing accessibility issues to bring the stadium closer into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
• Construction of a field house.
Hart said that he would present more details about the proposed plan at the next regular meeting of county council on Tuesday, Sept. 12 which will be held at the Carlisle Town Hall.
The issue of the stadium, the rental agreement between the district which leases it for football games and other athletic activities, and needed upgrades to the facility been the subject of many discussions between the county and the district over the past several years. In 2016, Hart said that the failure to move forward on these issues amounted to “kicking the can down the road,” a situation that he said could not continue indefinitely. He said that his proposed plan brings an end to such delays and opens the way to addressing those issues.
“We’ve stopped kicking the can,” Hart said. “We’ve spent a lot of time talking about this and this proposal is a way for us to move forward.”
The Union County Stadium was built in the 1960s and a recent engineering study of the stadium reached the following conclusions about the facility:
• The stadium does not comply with all aspects of the current 2006 IBC Code.
• The facility does not comply with the Americans for Disability Act or current ANSI regulations.
• Construction types required for the Department of Education does not comply in all buildings.
• Restroom facilities currently on site do not meet the fixture counts required by the Department of Education for a stadium facility.
• As stated in the structural evaluation additional testing needs to be conducted on the home bleachers to assure the foundation supporting of the double tee bleachers has no structural issues due to water collection under the stands.
It also states that the stands on the south end of the baseball field are not safe for spectator use and need to be demolished.
The report also states that, were the following repairs/upgrades to be made it could extend the life of the facility another 10-15 years while also bringing it into compliance with South Carolina Department of Education standards. Those repairs/upgrades and their costs include:
• New concession and toilet facilities — $550,000
• ADA issue of accessibility — $325,000
• Electrical issues — $150,000
• Site issues — $225,000
• Remaining building issues — $300,000
Total cost — $1,550,000
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.