Stadium Updates

Community Stadium to See Changes Over the Next 16 Months
Posted on 05/12/2022
Community Stadium Field Design

Donations & Sponsorships Make Major Improvements/Restrooms Possible

Bedford Public Schools is planning comprehensive upgrades to the Bedford Community Stadium during two phases over the next 16 months.

PHASE 1: Summer 2022

Currently the district operates and maintains two stadiums: the Bedford Community Stadium and the Soccer/Lacrosse Stadium next to Indian Creek.

As the two stadiums are currently configured, there are expenses and safety concerns that the district was looking to address. The challenges with the Soccer/Lacrosse Stadium include lack of functioning stadium lighting limiting playing time during available daylight hours, spectator bleachers requiring frequent and ongoing repairs/maintenance, and lack of a nearby facility for students and spectators to seek shelter in case of inclement weather during events.

One solution to many of those issues would be to move all of the events out of that facility and hold them all at the Bedford Community Stadium instead. Students and spectators would enjoy the larger home and visitor stands with a safer design, improved access/parking accommodations, easy access to the school buildings as a safe weather shelter, and more visibility within the school community. Relocation of soccer and lacrosse events would eliminate the need for costly upgrades/ongoing maintenance at their current location.

Adding the soccer and lacrosse programs to the Bedford Community Stadium schedule would necessitate upgrades to accommodate the additional use and lighting requirements specific for the new groups that would be using it.

The current natural grass field could not withstand the additional wear and tear and would require a full replacement schedule to be adopted. The district currently spends an average of $35,000 for irrigation, natural grass turf maintenance/repair and mowing services each year for the Bedford Community Stadium alone. A new irrigation well is needed to continue to maintain the current grass field.

The current stadium lighting system is now 25 years old. The existing 96 bulb metal halide system is outdated and is expensive to operate, maintain, and replace. The district currently operates on a biannual cycle for replacing burnt out bulbs with an average cost of $7,500 per cycle. In addition, due to the existing wooden poles twisting there is additional cost for re-aligning existing light bars to ensure proper light levels.The current lighting system averages approximately 30 footcandles across the playing surface, with less in the end zone area. This is not enough to meet the minimum of 50 footcandles that is required by high school athletics to play lacrosse at night.

After evaluating the pros and cons of each site and the associated costs, it was recommended to upgrade the Bedford Community Stadium as a central location for all of the events held at the two current locations.

To accommodate the increased usage at Bedford Community Stadium, the Board of Education recently approved two contracts at their April and May Board Meetings.

Field DesignThe first contract was awarded to Maumee Bay Turf Center for the purchase and installation of new field turf. The project will include the installation of a SSI football/soccer goal system, end zone pylons, chains, down marker, and corner kick flags specifically suited for use with synthetic turf. Sweeping and grooming units and training are included in the cost. The high jump area will be relocated and is included in the scope of this project. The funds for this $750,000 purchase will come out of the Capital Maintenance Fund and will be offset annually by the elimination of current maintenance costs and the necessity to make major investments in aging equipment at both facilities.

New Stadium LightsThe second contract addressed the lighting improvement needs. Qualite Sports Lighting, out of Hillsdale, MI, was awarded the contract to install a Q-LED GameChanger Gen. 3 lighting system on new, galvanized poles for $264,646.00. The system will provide an average of 52 footcandles coverage of the field (including the end zones) and is covered by a full, 25 year warranty. All funds necessary for this stadium lighting project purchase and installation will come out of the district’s energy efficiency rebate checks from Consumers Energy and Michigan Gas.

The district will also benefit from operational savings with the new lighting system. The LED system uses 88.4 KW less than the current metal halide lighting system. Over the 25 lifespan of the Qualite installation, the energy use reduction and elimination of maintenance costs associated with the current lighting, the district estimates a savings of more than $245,000.

Both the field turf and lighting systems will be installed during the summer of 2022. This will make Bedford Community Stadium functional for all of the student athletic events for the 2022-2023 school year as a first phase of upgrades to the stadium.

PHASE 2: Summer 2023

Donations and sponsorship agreements will fund a second phase, planned for the summer of 2023, to address additional improvements to Bedford Community Stadium. The lack of restroom facilities, a training room with privacy for athlete injury evaluation, and a dedicated space for referee use will be addressed. The need to repair/replace damaged concrete and walls were also factored into this phase of projects.

An architectural firm will be hired to complete design work and plans. (All construction plans must be approved by the state before construction can begin.) This project phase will include:

  • Construction of a new main entrance facility which would house concessions, ticket booth(s), technology, and storage where the east wall of the stadium currently stands.
  • Converting the current home/visitor concession stands at the east end of the stadium into restrooms.
  • Converting the current west end concession stand into a training room/referee room.

The cost for these projects, including site work and fees, is estimated at $1,182,554.

The funding for the second phase of stadium upgrades will be in the form of a collaboration between Bedford Public Schools, local business partnerships, community donations, and community organizations. Bedford Public Schools has secured three commitments for funding totaling $1,352,000.00. These agreements require Bedford Public Schools to fund the projects up front. However, the district will recover all of its upfront funding over the course of the next ten years in the form of annual payments from three separate entities:

The John C. Bates Foundation/Heidtman Steel Products, Inc. will be donating a total of $500,000. Their generosity was not contingent on any naming rights as they wish the stadium to remain known as the Bedford Community Stadium. The Bates Family as owners of locally based Heidtman Steel Products have long been supporters of BPS. The family is made up of current and previous Bedford residents, business owners, graduates, and with a new generation of family members currently attending the district, they simply wanted to ensure that these upgrades could be completed.

Grogan’s Towne Chrysler has agreed to another 10 years as a naming sponsor with a total investment of $360,000. We look forward to celebrating many football, soccer, lacrosse and track and field victories on the Grogan’s Towne Field. Grogan’s Towne Chrysler was one of the original sponsors for the construction of Community Stadium and their ongoing support is crucial to the success of the project.

Forest View is a new naming sponsor with a 10 year investment of $360,000. We look forward to making many memories with friends and family as we congregate in the new Forest View Plaza. Forest View has been a strong supporter of BPS for years and now with this new agreement in place, families will be able to enjoy a new type of experience inside Community Stadium.

The Alumni Association and Mule Muscle have been raising funds for many years to help make restroom facilities at the stadium a reality. The Alumni Association is contributing $82,000 and Mule Muscle is adding another $50,000. Without the ongoing support and efforts of the individuals that make up these important groups, Bedford Public Schools would not be in the position that we are today.

Bedford Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Carl Shultz, is excited to watch this project unfold with the community’s support, “Bedford Public Schools is extremely grateful for the generosity of these partners that is making this phase possible. The district looks forward to building on the legacy that members of our community worked so hard to create with the original stadium construction. Their efforts, preserved and commemorated along the east wall of the stadium, will be reinstalled in new construction.

It is my hope that we can build on this positive momentum and I would welcome discussion on any future collaborations on projects in other areas. Passionate supporters of our programs have the ability to have a tremendous impact on our students, schools and community for many years to come.”

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