Siloam Springs Herald Leader

Athletic complex plans moving forward


“With the athletic complex, my hope would be that we have that completed by the baseball and softball season next spring.”

— Jody Wiggins Siloam Springs superinten­dent

After months of discussion and planning, the Siloam Springs School District’s athletic complex is moving forward, with a unanimous vote to set in motion the early stages of the project.

During a school board work session on Jan. 17, Superinten­dent Jody Wiggins walked the school board through the project, which will feature a baseball field, a softball field and eight tennis courts.

“The baseball, softball and tennis complex is something that we’ve been talking about for a long period of time as a board and as a school district,” said Wiggins.

The project will be carried out in two phases, with phase one being devoted to resurfacin­g the football field and phase two being the constructi­on of the sports complex.

“We are at the end of the life cycle for the turf on the football field. It was installed in, I believe, 2012. This will be the 11th year that we have played on it. Normally, the life cycle on a turf field is about 10 years so we’ve done very good on that,” said Wiggins.

“We’re trying to package it all together in one project,” added Wiggins.

The timeline for this project is notably constraine­d, with the start and end dates projected to be mere months apart.

“For our football field, we need to start it at the end of soccer season this summer and it needs to be ready at the end of July. It’s about a two-month time span where they have to get in, tear out the old, install the new and be ready to play,” said Wiggins.

He continued, saying “With the athletic complex, my hope would be that we have that completed by the baseball and softball season next spring.”

Wiggins later clarified that he would hope to have the complex complete by December this year or January 2024.

The estimated project budget is $6 million, which will primarily come from the district building fund and the district savings fund. The estimated budget is subject to change.

The current timeline for the project suggests that the school board will vote on a guaranteed maximum price the week of March 13.

Wiggins says that the district is exploring fundraisin­g, although that won’t begin until the project is completed or near completion. Wiggins believes that the district can successful­ly raise $1.5 million.

The district has already been employing options to cut costs, including lowering the seating in the bleachers to 100 per field.

Wiggins also noted that the new baseball and softball fields will be turf, which the district believes will lower maintenanc­e costs.

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