The visitor side of the North Augusta High School Football Stadium will soon have new restrooms and a concession stand.
At the Aiken County School Board meeting on Tuesday, school board members approved schematic design plans, design development drawings/budget, and construction documents for the new restroom and concession stand. . The total cost of the project is estimated at $1.6 million, with a construction budget of $1.2 million and $400,000 in soft costs, said Barbara Price of McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture. Indirect costs include geotechnical engineering, A/E/professional design fees, impact and grip fees, and more.
Money for the project will come from the penny sales tax, said Dr. Corey Murphy, director of operations and student services.
“The facility itself includes a concession area with a covered porch, focusing on the rolling doors accessing the concession areas,” Price said. “There will be mechanical space, as well as storage space to hold groceries and other products to support the concession area. Men’s toilets, women’s toilets and building support spaces. »
The concession stand will be located on the parking lot side of the football stadium, Price said. Work is expected to start in June and last five months, pending supply chain issues. Restrooms and concession stand will not be ready for next football season.
Board member Brian Silas asked why the matter was being considered now when the school had previously opted to spend money on new turf.
“I think back to sitting in this room before being elected to the board and some selections were made by schools on how to spend a certain amount of available money and how to prioritize their needs,” Silas said. “I believe Midland Valley had a toilet, Silver Bluff had a toilet, I don’t know the details of the others, but I remember North Augusta made the decision at the time that they wanted to use at least one majority of x amount of dollars for turf. Then we now spend more money on toilets which were probably needed back then. It’s like, let’s get what we want now and what we need later.
Restrooms became a priority, Superintendent King Laurence said, when he received a phone call from another superintendent about the problem after a football game.
“We had visitors from Burke County, Georgia…the superintendent called me just to share some concerns she had about there being no washroom facilities other than port-a -lets,” Laurence said.
“I think it was a big deal, a lot of people came to this game. So the visiting side were packed and all they had at their disposal were port-a-lets, which really touched me, if you are going to have a facility you must have a toilet for it.
Board member Jason Crane added that he agrees with Silas that while bathrooms are important, there are other equally important facility needs. He also said that (Bill) Hixon’s rep, R-North Augusta, had previously discussed the lack of bathrooms on the visitor’s side.
School board member Dwight Smith mentioned that NAHS needed a new concession and restrooms when he was a teacher and coach at the school years ago.
“It’s something this community and this school have needed for a long time,” Smith said. “I don’t have a major problem with it, but I want to educate the public, it became a major problem when we were at the legislative delegation and Mr Hixon held up a picture of the port-a-let which was the visitor’s bathroom. He made his point. Then Senator Massey and another spoke about it. That’s where this reader is from.
Board member Dr. Patricia Hanks said she hears from the community about the embarrassment of having a facility with no visitor washrooms.
“In my opinion, there is no way we can get a new concession stand built without ADA, which I know you worked on, and washroom facilities,” Hanks said.