Bear Stadium

An architectural rendering of improvements planned for Bear Stadium. – Illustration courtesy, Michael Chaloult, SP Design Group.

BOE seeks bids for construction manager for renovations to PCHS stadium, ball fields

Bear Stadium along with the baseball and softball fields may soon get an overhaul.

The Board of Education approved seeking bids to hire a construction manager to make renovations and improvements to the stadium, home of the state champion Bears.

The action came at last Tuesday’s work session of the board. The meeting was moved up a week due to spring break.

An advertisement seeking requests for qualifications for an architect is included in today’s edition of The Times.

The proposed improvements were first presented to the board in January by PCHS principal Kelly Murray. Murray said at the time the presentation was a wish list, but he wanted the board to have all the information it needed before proceeding.

Athletic Director Brandon “Rock” Jernigan, Bears head football coach Ryan Herring and Bears head baseball coach Andrew Evans all gave input on the plans.

Among improvements suggested for Bear Stadium is the construction of a multipurpose facility at the entrance which would feature multiple ticket booth stations on the front and concession stands on the back side. Bathrooms would be added to the front side corners for both the home and visitors sides. They would be located separate from the concession stands to help with crowd control. Currently, all three facilities are located next to each other.

The proposal also calls for a concrete plaza to be installed the length of the front entrance, with a concrete walkway all the way to the home side bleachers.

Plans also call for installing wrought iron fence instead of chain link fence and improvements to the press box to make more room for the audio visual team.

The renovations would also be aimed at making the stadium more visibly pleasing.

“We have needed new concessions and restrooms at Bear Stadium for a long time and this plan provides that along with giving the stadium a more collegiate feel,” said school superintendent Dara Bennett. “The additional parking is also much needed.”

Murray said in January the addition of more bathrooms would be a much needed improvement and eliminate a long held “source of embarrassment” at the stadium’s current restroom facilities.

The baseball and softball fields will get an overhaul as well.

The existing batting cages will be closed in to provide softball and baseball locker rooms and additional bathrooms and storage for uniforms and equipment. The existing baseball concession stand will  get a face lift and additional windows for viewing the new softball field.

Currently, the baseball and softball teams have to use the facilities at the field house.

The softball field will be moved to realign with the baseball fields.

The current softball field area will be converted for use for baseball, softball and football parking.  

The costs of these projects will be covered by a combination of education special purpose local option sales tax (ESPLOST) and cash reserves from the school system’s general fund. The general fund monies have been freed up by assistance the system received as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act/American Recovery Plan (ARP) recently approved by Congress.

“The BOE is committed to providing Pierce County students and the community with the best school buildings and facilities possible,” Bennett said.