Board votes to accept grandstand bid

Robert Smith
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

The Pawhuska Board of Education on Dec. 12 voted, 5-0, to accept a bid of $421,300 from DGJD, Inc. to demolish the aging home-side grandstand at Ormand Beach Memorial Stadium and build a new grandstand. Superintendent David Cash said work on the project needed to start by early spring at the latest for the new grandstand to be completed in time for the 2023 football season.

“The substructure is gone. Basically, it is rusted through,” Cash said regarding the home-side grandstand. “It is nobody’s fault.”

DGJD, Inc., which calls itself “The Bleacher Company,” says on its website that it has headquarters in Colorado but does manufacturing in Texas. Cash said the company came highly recommended, and its bid for the grandstand project was about $40,000 better than an earlier bid the school district had received.

Cash told the board that people fall on the old grandstand every year and it is not Americans with Disabilities Act compliant. He added that the school district intends to reuse stone from the exterior of the grandstand because it has historical significance for the Pawhuska community. He said ideas for the use of the stone have been suggested, and more public participation in that process is welcome.

The grandstand reportedly dates back to the 1930s, and the stadium is named for a Pawhuska football star named Ormand Beach, who went on to play ball at the University of Kansas and for the Sarnia Imperials professional team in Ontario, Canada. In addition to the stadium, Beach’s name is on an award given annually to the Pawhuska Huskies football player who is judged to best exemplify the mix of athleticism and scholarship that was characteristic of Beach.

Cash told the board that Pawhuska Public Schools has in excess of $470,000 of recoverable depreciation money – money recovered from a roof replacement project – that it can apply to the grandstand replacement project or to other capital improvement projects. He also said the school district has about $170,000 of Building Fund money on-hand, and another $100,000 to $200,000 of building fund money coming early in calendar year 2023, as taxes are paid.

Cash explained the school district has enough money in place, or soon to be in place, that it can very likely address both the need for a new grandstand at the football stadium and the desire to replace a non-functioning elevator at the Junior High School without delaying action on either priority.

Board member Shannon Shaw Duty said she felt uneasy about voting for the grandstand replacement when the school district also needed to replace the elevator at the Junior High School. Board member Justin Turney also raised concerns about the need to offer sufficient accommodations for students who have disabilities or limited mobility resulting from injuries.