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Park bleachers would cost Clintonville $450,000

City exploring other options for new seating

By Bert Lehman

The city of Clintonville is going back to the drawing board when it comes to replacing the bleacher system at W. A. Olen Athletic Field.

The city had Southern Bleacher Company provide a cost estimate to replace the current bleacher system and grandstand with a 739-seat unit with a roof and new press box.

The estimate came in at $455,000, not including permits and inspection fees.

While prioritizing facility needs, the Clintonville Parks and Recreation Committee discussed the estimate at a May 30 meeting.

“I was astounded at the cost of bleachers,” committee member Carol Metzger said. “When I read the total for that, I thought, for bleachers? That’s a lot of money.”

Clintonville Parks and Recreation Director Justin Mc Auly said there are ways to lower the estimated cost, such as reducing the seating capacity, eliminating a roof over the grandstand or building a smaller press box.

“Do we need a roof down there?” Mc Auly asked.

He added that one of the reasons the roof is on the current grandstand is to help block the sunlight for the pitcher and infielders when the sun sets.

Mc Auly said if a new press box is built centered behind the grandstand it will help block the sun from the field.

“There are options where you might not need a roof,” Mc Auly said.

Clintonville City Administrator Sharon Eveland told the committee that it is not financially feasible for the city to install the bleacher system that seats more than 700 people.

“We can’t put a half a million dollars into that system,” Eveland said. “We would have to downsize drastically. The modified one would be just over 500 seats. It’s still significant, but we could also phase it. We could do it without the roof.”

She reiterated the current bleacher system needs to be replaced.

The city learned of the safety concerns regarding the bleacher system after a facilities study was conducted by Barrientos Design & Consulting in Milwaukee.

The facilities report presented to the city estimated it would cost:

• $60,000 to remove and replace the roof and structure above the current grandstand.

• $100,000 to replace all the bleachers.

• $60,000 to replace the current press box, for a total of $220,000. That figure is far less than the estimate from Southern Bleacher Company. The facilities study did not specify what comprised the $220,000 figure.

The parks and recreation committee considers removal and replacement of the existing bleacher system the highest priority for the Clintonville Facilities Committee to consider.

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