New Stadium: Racing to Completion
As the steel skeleton of Union’s new stadium begins to emerge from the dirt, it’s hard to believe the project is so far along. “And it’s right on schedule,” said Lee Snodgrass, executive director of Special Projects. “So far, we are on track to complete the west bleachers and that part of the stadium complex by July 2021.”
Snodgrass, along with Fred Isaacs, director of Construction Services, conducted a tour of the stadium in-progress. They took us to the very top of the facility – about 80 feet up – where we could check out the breathtaking view from the press box. (More accurately, what will become the press box, as it’s just a rough sketch now). The view is amazing. On a clear day, you can see well beyond Oral Robert University’s CityPlex Towers to the west.
“The stadium will be completed in time for the 2021 football season, as well as the new parking lot south of the High School,” said Associate Superintendent Charlie Bushyhead. “A temporary scoreboard will need to be rented, and the Fine Arts Building that houses the marching band will not yet be completed. Otherwise, the stadium for all practical purposes will be done.”
The fine arts/band building – with an estimated 12-month build time – will begin construction in May or June of 2021. It will be completed in time for the 2022 football season. “We will have drawings of the new band building by the end of this year,” said Bushyhead, with bids likely going out in March 2021. The band building will be 12-month project. “When we tear down the band building, we will begin work on the new bus loop at the same time.”
Turf installation on the field and scoreboard replacement will begin near the completion of the band building, around March 2022, with a completion date of June 2022.
“The stadium project is going very well, it’s just a very complicated project,” said Bushyhead. “The new, improved east side is great compared to what was there before. We’d better like it, as it’s the ‘home’ side for now. It’s turned out very well and a lot of people have voiced their appreciation for it.” The current north end zone bleachers will be relocated to the soccer complex for visitor seating.
The Year Ahead
Beyond completion of the new stadium, here are some other exciting projects underway in 2021.
Union High School:
$1 million in funds will be awarded in January. There are approximately 35 roofing sections.
full replacement of the roof and insulation.
Building Automation System
Union will be implementing a new system to more efficiently control energy in buildings over the next couple of years. It will include automatic temperature setbacks at unoccupied times and controlled settings when occupied.
Union High School:
cooling tower, etc.
Phase 1 replacement.
Phase 2 replacement
Greenhouse at Sanders Field
Utilizing grant money, Union will install a “hoop house” greenhouse that will serve as a growing facility for crops that will be used by Child Nutrition. Hoop houses are steel frames (hoops) covered in heavy plastic film, but otherwise open to the ground. This one will be approximately 30 ft. x 60 ft. The Horticulture Department will work with a Bixby farmer to grow vegetables that will be used in Union’s food service program.
Indoor Golf Facility
The former wrestling/weight room at the Union High School Freshman Academy will be converted to an indoor practice area for the golf team. Golf nets and simulators will be installed in the space so the team can practice during the winter months. The weight room will be moved to another location at the Freshman Academy.
Union Performing Arts Center
“Back of house” renovations, modernizing the men and women’s dressing rooms, sinks and showers.
Union Innovation Lab
Minor build-out for construction courses.
New playground equipment at two school sites that are to be determined.