Construction of North Main Athletic Complex in Holly Springs moves forward

aspecht@newsobserver.comJune 26, 2014 

— The town is saving money on construction of the North Main Athletic Complex, but it cut out plans for a permanent beer garden and some decorative features.

The Holly Springs Town Council on June 17 approved a $8.1 million contract with T.A. Loving Company to build the second phase of the complex. That’s $1.5 million less than the Morrisville-based company bid in April as part of the first bidding process.

The town saved about half that amount in December when it rebid the contract to build phase one and agreed to a $7.1 million contract with the Fred Smith Company.

Holly Springs leaders decided to rebid the projects after initial prices came in higher than expected.

Mayor Dick Sears said the town deserved a pat on the back.

“We’re astutely aware of our financial responsibilities,” he said.

The first phase of the project includes grading the land and installing synthetic turf soccer fields and eight regulation-size and four youth-size tennis courts.

Construction is underway, and the complex is expected to open this fall.

The second phase of the project includes a 1,800-seat multisport stadium with synthetic turf and lights that will equip the complex to host concerts, amateur sports and a Coastal Plain League collegiate summer baseball team.

The town received lower bids on phase one by reducing the amount of work required by the bidder.

In the first round of bidding, companies had to agree to do 50 percent of the work. They only had to agree to do 25 percent of the work in the second round of bidding, which opened the door for more subcontractors.

In the second round of bidding for phase two, the town lost some amenities such as decorative fencing along the sidewalk outside the stadium and a permanent structure for a beer garden.

Councilman Jimmy Cobb said he was OK with the town passing on a $285,000 beer garden and $290,000 fencing because “they’re wants, not needs.”

Sears said he wants the town to pursue corporate sponsorships to help pay for parts of the stadium that get left out of Holly Springs’ budget.

Some businesses are interested in sponsoring the complex, said Town Manager Chuck Simmons, but the town hasn’t yet established a process for soliciting them.

In the meantime, Simmons said his staff is planning to leave an open space for beer vendors just beyond the right-field wall.

“We’re not saying there won’t be a beer garden feature,” Simmons said. “It just won’t be built into the stadium.”

The facility is partially being paid for by bonds approved by voters in 2011 and partnerships with local athletic organizations. Holly Springs plans to pursue financing to help pay for the rest.

Specht: 919-460-2608; Twitter: @AndySpecht

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