After months of delay, renovations to parts of Jim Thorpe Stadium are nearing completion. Shawnee Public School officials toured the concession stand and ticket booth of the project and are expected to deliver findings to School Board members at tonight’s meeting.



After months of delay, renovations to parts of Jim Thorpe Stadium are nearing completion. Shawnee Public School officials toured the concession stand and ticket booth of the project and are expected to deliver findings to School Board members at tonight’s meeting.
The school board will make a final decision on each of the improvements before any of the additions to the stadium project can be finalized. But that is not on tonight’s agenda.
“We are close to the final punch out on the concession stand and ticket booth,” Marlyn Bradford, superintendent of the Shawnee School District, said. “Final adjustments may need to be made before the school can take possession of the facility.”
Work on the track surface is still at an impasse. School officials are currently waiting on reports from an independent consultant hired after several delays halted work on the stadium project.
“We knew we wouldn’t make this track season, we didn’t anticipate the track being finished,” Bradford said. “When the levels of the aggregate base, and the asphalt base didn’t meet specification regulations, long term maintenance of the track and the integrity of the base became a concern.”
David Harp, business manager for the Shawnee Public School system, said the original bid for the contract went to Homeland General Contractors, who then subcontracted the track portion of the contract to another company.
“The whole project is about 78 percent complete because the track isn’t complete, the concession stand and ticket booth are about 95 to 98 percent complete,” Harp said. “A lot of this process has taken place in executive meetings, but until we get the track complete this project will not be complete.”
HGC, originally won the project with a base bid of $1,319,997. Bids on the project ranged from the winning bid of $1,319,997 to the highest bid of $1,665,200.
“When you bid things out to the lowest bidder you often get what you paid for,” Randy Grizzle, Shawnee resident and business owner, said. “It’s one of the drawbacks of the lowest bid system governments use.”
Concerns were raised during the bidding process ranging from the lack of experience with the contractors, to the preservation of a depression era public works project.
“What frustrated me about the initial decision was the idea of having our history demolished,” Frank Sims, Vice Mayor of Shawnee, said. “The WPA was instrumental in our recovery from the Great Depression.”
Sims praised School Board members for their resolve during the construction phase of the renovations.
“I commend the School Board for demanding what the taxpaying community paid for,” Sims said. “It seems like far too often we pay for the best and are delivered below average results and then just accept it and move on.”
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Robby Short may be contacted by calling 214-3934.