TRM gets $1M donation|Money to fund construction of new practice field and track

Published 5:10 pm Wednesday, January 27, 2010

By By Kerry Whipple Bean

A $1 million anonymous donation will help Brewton City Schools build a new practice field and track on the campus of T.R. Miller High School.
The school board announced plans for the project Monday, along with a new concession stand and restrooms at the stadium.
The funds for the concession stand and restrooms — which could be anywhere from $200,000 to $350,000 — will come from a $20 million bond issue designated for the new middle school and other construction projects, Superintendent Lynn Smith said.
The school board awarded McKee and Associates the contract to do the design for the practice field and concession stand.
The practice field will be encircled by a track and aluminum seating and will be lit, Smith said.
Smith said he does not want work to begin on the concession stand or restrooms unless it can be finished in time for football season.
The restrooms will be accessible to both the stadium and the practice facility and track, Walker said.
Board member Terrell Neal said the construction of the practice facility will not affect any of the sports or classes at the school. The practice facility work could begin this spring and take about six to seven months.
T.R. Miller head football coach and athletic director Jamie Riggs said he is excited about the new field.
Riggs said the practice field would be in the open lot currently behind the stadium near the field house, with restrooms behind the current scoreboard area.
The current proposed idea has the looks of Thomasville High School’s current restroom area at their field.
Riggs said the new practice field would be a 100-yard field that would serve as the new track for the track team’s home meets and would be lit.
Later plans are to fix the current bleachers and press box and make a new ticket booth and entrance to the stadium and tie it in with the baseball field on the north side.
The additions to the bleachers would possibly be built on the old track to make more room in the stands.
School board members said they have been discussing possible plans for new facilities for some time but wanted to wait until plans for the middle school were under way.
Dirt work began at the middle school site in December, after the board awarded a $14.9 million bid to Rod Cooke Construction last fall.
Neal said about 75 percent of the pad for the middle school is in place, but heavy rains over recent weeks have contractors trying to control the runoff at the property, located at the southeast corner of U.S. 31 and Old Castleberry Road.
One of the next steps will be taking bids for work on U.S. 31, where a turn lane will be installed.
Neal said he hopes the state will give permission to let bids on the project by early spring. “We want to try to get the construction to hit by May so it doesn’t disrupt the county bus route,” he said.