Friday, 15 January 2021

That grand ol’ stand is about to get spiffy

COEUR d’ALENE — As the bid process for upgrades to the Memorial Field grandstand gets underway this month, Coeur d’Alene City Council has opted to kick in cash for amenities not included in the basic bid.

Council members agreed to set aside about $135,000 — half the cost of adding items such as cedar siding, steps, drainage and stainless steel bathroom fixtures, which are not included in the base bid for the project. The makeover should be completed next spring.

Built in the 1940s, the Memorial Field Grandstand was one of the cogs earmarked for improvement as part of the city’s massive Four Corners plan along Northwest Boulevard. The plan includes refurbishing the softball field, adding a carousel — two facets that have been completed — adding parking lots, a skatepark and a greenbelt extending from City Beach to Riverstone along the Spokane River.

Architects West is designing the $1.2 million rebuild of the ballfield’s grandstand, with the lion’s share being paid by ignitecda, the city’s urban renewal development agency. North Idaho College, which uses the field and grandstand for its softball program, also paid about $150,000, according to the city.

Steve Roth of Architects West said once the grandstand work is completed, the structure — which seats as many as 800 spectators — will have new, green-stained siding, a new main floor, restrooms, a concessions and ticket area, two locker rooms and a home-team dugout. An ADA-compliant ramp will lead up one side of the grandstand, which will have ADA seating.

Architects used details of the city’s original grandstand — built in 1906 in the same place — and features from other bygone architecture to highlight the upgraded grandstand.

“There are pieces of detail from various local historical architecture that we borrowed that are repetitive in buildings that mostly no longer exist,” Roth said.

Features from the Fort Sherman gate and a city gazebo will be incorporated into the remodel.

“It will be kind of representative of historical local Coeur d’Alene architecture,” Roth said.

But many items including drainage around the building, steps inside the grandstand, a scorekeeper’s platform, cedar siding instead of fir, and stainless steel fixtures in its bathrooms were not part of the original bid because they were not required by city code, parks director Bill Greenwood said.

He asked to use money in his budget to pay for half the additions. The total cost would be about $274,000, and ignitecda will pony up the rest.

“The other items are recommended and not required,” Greenwood said. “They would enhance and add longevity to the building for years to come.”

Bids will be accepted by the end of this month and work should begin in October, with the bulk of the construction being completed by softball season in March, Roth said.


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