Danville High athletic facility

An artist's rendering of the planned $8.37 million Danville High athletic facility. [COURTESY ART]

Danville High School will get a new nearly 40,000-square-foot athletic facility, paid for with proceeds from a state bond issue.

The Morgan County school board last week unanimously approved awarding a construction contract for the project to the lowest bidder, Huntsville-based Consolidated Construction Co., in the base bid amount of $8.37 million.

“It’s an upgrade (to the existing facility) and will become the competition gym for boys and girls basketball,” said Brian Bishop, the district’s chief school financial officer. “The old gym will become a P.E. gym.”

The 39,784-square-foot facility will feature a competition gymnasium with seating for 1,200 spectators, support areas for male and female spring sports, support areas for football, a weight room and a storm shelter, according to Shane Bagwell with Volkert Inc., which manages the school district’s construction projects.

It will be a stand-alone building connected to the school with sidewalks and canopies, Bishop said.

“I expect within the month, they’ll break ground, digging footings and pouring concrete,” Bishop said. As for completion, “We’re looking at within a month of when we come back for the second semester in 2022 if everything goes well.”

The Alabama Public School and College Authority issued about $1.5 billion in bonds last year to provide money for capital improvement projects for the state’s K-12 schools, community colleges and higher education institutions, and Morgan County Schools are receiving nearly $8.8 million.

The majority of that money will be used to pay for the building construction and architect’s fees for the project. There will be an estimated $200,000 to $250,000 remaining when the project is finished, “and our intent is to put that into re-roofing projects,” Bishop said.

“I think this was a very good bid,” considering all the building projects underway in the area, school board chairman Jimmy Dobbs said at the meeting.

The Morgan County Commission agreed last month to provide $16,000 toward the purchase of an advanced audio and video system for Danville High’s gym. At its regular meeting, the commission voted 4-0 to authorize District 2 Commissioner Randy Vest to designate road and bridge funds out of his district for the system, which would be used at indoor athletic events and school assemblies.

Danville High counselor and assistant basketball coach Brian Ellis had said he anticipates the system will be easily transferred to the new gym.

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marian.accardi@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2438. Twitter @DD_MAccardi.

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