By Jeff Gallatin
Members of the North Olmsted Stadium Foundation continue their drive toward installing field turf at the school district stadium and plan to have the initial design by year’s end.
After the North Olmsted School Board approved at a special Saturday board meeting having the Foundation give a contract to AVG Architecture, a Westlake firm, to do the design development work on the $1.5 million project, officials said they are glad the project continues to move forward toward having the field turf in place for the start of the 2013-14 academic and athletic school year.
“Everybody’s pretty pumped up about this,” John Kraft, the Foundation spokesman said. “There’s been a lot of attention on the project lately, and this adds to it.”
School officials approved the action on the contract a little more than two weeks after Foundation officials announced a 10-year, $250,000 naming rights deal with Robert Morris Cadillac to name the field Drive Morris Field. The money from the dealership puts the amount raised for the installation of turf and other upgrades of district athletic facilities at $550,000 or a little more than one third of the goal for Phase 1 of the work.
“It helps that we’re getting some attention for the recent activity, but I’d stress we still need some more help to get to our goal, particularly by the goal we’ve set for getting the field turf in place by next year,” Kraft said.
School Board President John Lasko said the agreement is a positive development for the project, the school district and the community as a whole.
“We wanted to make sure we are all going forward on the same page together,” he said.
Kraft indicated the design work would be done in three phases, with the initial design development work expected by the end of this year, with the architect’s fees estimated at $98,000, with the final figure depending on the final costs of the project. The design work will be done in three phases, with the design development coming first, with officials saying it will be about 30 percent of the costs. The construction documents and blueprints will be done after that and will be an estimated 50 percent of the costs and the final construction phase of the work will be the last 20 percent.
“We’ve been very pleased by our contact with AVG on the design portion of the work,” Kraft said. “They’ve indicated that they can work with the timetable we have set. We want to keep the project on track towards our goal of getting the turf down by the start of the next school year and athletic season,” he said.
Lasko said the way the project is set up should not only help the first phase be completed, but it will lay the foundation for additional work and more success in future years.
“It should help keep the project and the facility moving forward for many years,” he said.
In a related matter, the board also approved an advertising and marketing plan for the Foundation’s project. Lasko said the approved plan is also important to the work being done by the foundation.
Kraft said having more specific design and timetable information should also draw additional support to the project.
He anticipated having updated financial contribution information within the next few days.