The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

July 16, 2013

Ramping up

Collaboration leads to new bleachers, ramp project

By Kim West
kwest@athensnews-courier.com

— ARDMORE — Visiting fans will have a revamped and accessible seating area thanks to the installation of bleachers and a joint venture to construct a ramp at the Ardmore High School football stadium.

Through a partnership between Limestone County Schools, the County Commission and the municipalities of Ardmore, the stadium now has a brand-new set of gleaming aluminum bleachers on the visiting side of Cooper Field after the old bleachers were condemned during an engineering inspection.

On Monday afternoon, District 3 Commissioner Gary Daly and school board member James Shannon accepted the donation of gravel from Rogers Group to aid in the construction of a handicapped-accessible ramp to the bleachers and concession stand.

Earlier this spring, the municipalities donated materials and labor, including the removal of the old bleachers, while the County Commission provided crews and equipment. The school system took on the $149,700 expense to buy 231 feet, or 11 rows, of bleachers.

Limestone Superintendent Dr. Tom Sisk previously said the in-kind donations from the county and Ardmore saved the school system about $10,000.

Keith Kennedy, who co-owns Stadium Pros in Red Bay with Alton Barksdale, said Monday the bleachers have a total seating capacity of 987.

In May, the Board of Education accepted the company’s low base bid of $127,000 for 840 seats, and approved a change order in June to add 147 seats for $22,700, according to board documents.

The Tigers will travel to Elkmont and Butler on Aug. 30 and Sept. 6 before returning home to play North Jackson on Sept. 13.

– Intern Caleb Odom contributed to this report.