Tonawanda News

September 4, 2013


By Jessica Bagley
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — The Tonawanda City School District’s new football stadium is completed and contractors are pressing on with their work on the other aspects of the nearly $12 million dollar capital project.

“We used the field for the first time this past weekend, and everything went smoothly,” Superintendent James Newton said.

A scrimmage football game and soccer tournament took place on the field, and the new concession stand and bathrooms were also used for the first time. 

The practice fields will not be able to be used for a year, Newton said, in order to allow the natural turf to grow. 

“That is something that will have to be delayed,” he said.

The parking lot and roundabout, which can be used for drop-offs, are also complete, and contractors are still working on the landscaping at the site of the field. 

Work inside the school is also continuing. The district’s new fitness center, which previously housed a classroom and an office, has been gutted and painted. 

The other main component of the project — renovations on the choral and band rooms — won’t begin until sometime in the fall. The district originally planned to complete additions at the school for the two rooms, but the bids for that portion of the project came in more than $600,000 over budget.

The board then decided to renovate the two rooms instead of completing the expansion. The work will include raising the roof of the band room and expanding the width of the choral room to provide more space and better acoustics.

But the change meant the project’s architectural firm, Wendel, had to go back to the drawing board and prepare an addendum for state Department of Education approval. 

Brian Brady, of Wendel, said they will send the addendum to the state this week. 

“We hope that there will be a two-week turnaround,” he said.

The portion of the project will then go out to bid, and work will likely start around winter break, Brady said. 

The renovations will likely take about four or five months. While construction is taking place, the section of the school will be cordoned off and the choral groups will practice on risers in the school auditorium

The district is also in the process of obtaining estimates for technology upgrades as part of the capital project, including wiring for safety access cards to the schools, security cameras and improving the telephone system.  

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150, or follow her on Twitter @JessicaLBagley