OHS stadium to be complete in October

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Although renovations of Opp’s Channel-Lee Stadium got off to a slow start, Opp City Schools Superintendent Michael Smithart doesn’t think the project is behind schedule.

“This project was delayed somewhat because we wanted to ensure we had all of our agreements and plans in place before we proceeded,” he said. “I would hope it will be finished prior to Little Big Horn in October, but that depends on a number of things that may be beyond our control.”

Little Big Horn is the marching band contest held in Opp each fall, usually in the middle of the month.

Smithart said that OHS fans should not experience any major inconveniences.

“We still have the same restrooms and concession area we had last year and you will still enter at the same gate,” he said. “The temporary press box is complete and the public address announcer and clock operator have a very nice facility.

“Although this is not ideal, it’s still a very small price to pay for the improvements we are making, and the most important thing to remember that whatever is going on construction wise, will have no impact on what takes place on the field,” he said.

Catrett Construction was awarded the contract at a low bid of $426,000 for the renovations at the end of July.

The city and OCS announced in May that the more than $400K facelift to the stadium was “a go” thanks to $375,000 in interest-free Qualified School Construction Bonds, designed to help fund school construction projects.

The Opp Booster Club is also helping finance the project, and the city will make annual payments on the project.

This joint venture marks the first time renovations have been made to the more than 50-year-old stadium. The project includes a new south wall, concession stand, restrooms and press box.

A construction worker works to move dirt at Channel-Lee Stadium. | Kendra Bolling/Star-News