War Memorial Stadium – The costs of preservation

Yesterday’s final meeting of the War Memorial Task Force was all about the money.  We have worked over the past several months to develop three different renovation scenarios for the old stadium.  Yesterday we received the price tags for each of them.

Although these costs will be presented to the Parks & Rec Commission during today’s 6:00p meeting, I thought I’d go ahead and give you an advance look at the amounts our City Council will be considering.  It will then be up to them to decide which, if any, of these amounts will be added to the November bond referendum.

The pricing for each of the three options contains two elements… the stadium’s actual structure and the site development.  The costs for the development of the stadium’s immediate surroundings are the first step towards creating a new and appealing city park in the vicinity of WMS and neighboring Farmer’s Curb Market.  Those development costs are a constant throughout all three scenarios.

Option 1 - 1500 seats: $6,375,000. Stadium renovation – $4,040,000.  Site development – $2,335,000.

Option 22000 seats: $7,290,000. Stadium renovation – $4,955,000.  Site development – $2,335,000.

Option 32500 seats: $7,780,000. Stadium renovation – $5,535,000.  Site development – $2,335,000.

If the P&R Commission approves these scenarios today they will then be scheduled for presentation to our City Council during a briefing in early April.  Any further action is up to them.

Overall I am very pleased with what Winston Salem architects Walter, Robbs, Callahan and Pierce have come up with during this process.  Although I am dismayed that so much of the original stadium’s seating bowl will be demolished, at this point there is no defensible reason to oppose this action.  At least the entire facade of the 1922 structure will remain intact.  Last year’s opening of First Horizon Stadium negated the need for another 6,000 seat baseball venue in Greensboro, so redefining WMS as a 2500 maximum seat stadium is the best we could come up under current and future useage.

After today’s P&R meeting, War Memorial Stadium’s future will be in the hands of our City Council.  I can only hope that past statements of commitment from members of that body will result in giving the voters a chance to bring WMS back to some of its former glory come November.

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7 Comments

  1. Posted March 8, 2006 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Have you noticed that the Grasshoppers are stealing college games from WMS – Greensboro College 3/30 is one. Rumours are others are in the works.

  2. Posted March 8, 2006 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    1) Are these fixed costs or projected costs?
    2) Should voters with an average of over $7000 jacked up on their credit cards, be allowed to have a say in taking on still more debt?

  3. Robbie Perkins
    Posted March 8, 2006 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    What about no seats, all park and keep the facade as part of the parkscape?

  4. dhoggard
    Posted March 9, 2006 at 4:51 am | Permalink

    Jim – They are accurate 2007 costs with a 10% ‘contigency’ (fudge room). The costs were developed by a well respected estimator in a 200 page detailed document.

    As to your second question: yes, they should.
    **********
    Robbie,

    Then we would call it what?… War Memorial Field of What Used to Be?

    Even the 2500 seat option removes about 3/5ths of the original structure…. Isn’t that enough?

  5. Posted March 9, 2006 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    Robbie,
    We could probably have a really nice park for just a little over 12 million, plus upkeep.

  6. Robbie Perkins
    Posted March 10, 2006 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Just a thought to try to salvage this deal. The price tag alone will doom it unless private money is raised.

  7. Ann Stringfield
    Posted March 14, 2006 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Is that a “Nay” we’re hearin’ you say Robbie Perkins? :o )

2 Trackbacks

  1. [...] After fire stations, the list of potential projects tend more in the direction of want and further away from pure need.  However, in the need/want continuum, the renovation plans for War Memorial Stadium are way more need than want.  I say this because the place could fall down if something is not done soon.  Don’t take my word for it, …take the City’s. [...]

  2. By Hogg’s Blog » So much for public input on April 27, 2006 at 7:20 am

    [...] The only reason we sent that pitiful option to the Council for consideration is because we were told by we had to by assistant city manager Bob Morgan.  He stated that the architects were contracted to produce three scenarios.  [...]