Green light given to new stadium
By By Thomas Tingle
Record Managing Editor
Madison City Schools has crossed the third and final hurdle in its efforts to build a 5,000 seat, multi-purpose stadium and a new building to work in that will include a teacher resource center.
City School Superintendent Dr. Henry Clark said 51 acres of property behind the Spencer Square shopping center off Celtic Drive would be purchased to construct a new central office/teacher resource center and a 5,000 seat, multi-purpose stadium. Clark said the cost of the property is $1 million, but cost figures for the construction of the new facilities have not been calculated.
On Oct. 3, the Adjustments and Appeals Board gave its approval to the school board to buy the land. Clark said approval by the Madison Planning and Zoning Board, the Madison City Council and the Adjustments and Appeals Board had to be given before the next step is made to get the facilities built.
Clark said once the land is bought the central office/teacher resource center and the stadium will be built at the same time. Construction could begin as early as next spring. The superintendent said the next step in the process is to choose an architect to design a master plan for the site. Ground testing at the site could begin as early as this week.
"The central office will be moved out of the Sullivan Street location and into this new building – which will also contain an auditorium," Clark said.
Residents living near the proposed stadium site in the Home Place subdivision say they don't want a stadium located in their backyard. Several residents voiced their concerns to the Adjustments and Appeals Board before approval was given. Clark said he met with several residents who attended the board meeting and stated that the school board will continue to work with the residents and listen to their concerns during the planning and building process.
The approval was given with two stipulations:
* Lighting must be shielded.
* A 6-foot tall berm must edge the west side of the property bordering Home Place. The berm must be planted with vegetation that will grow up to six feet tall and be 80 percent opaque.
According to the superintendent, within the next seven to 10 years, another high school will be built in Madison. Approximately 80 acres of property on County Line Road has been purchased for the new high school. With Bob Jones High School needing a new stadium for its various sporting events and with a new high school in place in under 10 years, Clark said the multi-purpose stadium will solve those needs.
"This property is in an ideal location for the stadium and we plan to build it on the eastside of the property near Celtic Drive," Clark said.