Hawthorne Heights Stadium Pressbox Project

New Footers of Pressbox Footer Bolts Footers of Pressbox North Footer of Pressbox South Frame End North Frame End New Press Boxes at Delivery Pressbox at Delivery Lower Floor of Pressbox Top Floor of Pressbox Crane Placing Pressbox in Place Setting the First Floor in Place Front View of New Pressbox Rear View of New Pressbox Front View of New Pressbox Rear View of New Pressbox south end vert north front front south end
New Footers of Pressbox
South Frame End
North Frame End
New Press Boxes at Delivery
Pressbox at Delivery
Lower Floor of Pressbox
Top Floor of Pressbox
Crane Placing Pressbox in Place
Setting the First Floor in Place
Front View of New Pressbox
Rear View of New Pressbox
Front View of New Pressbox
Rear View of New Pressbox

Press-Box Projected

For a number of years now the press-box at Hawthorne heights has been deteriorating it is recognized as a project that needs to be addressed for a number of reasons.

  1. As the retired track coach I know all too well how the size of the existing structure isn’t large enough to accommodate the people who need it during the season. This issue is a greater issue during Football/Softball season as the facility is as times used by both programs at the same time.   The structure  designed to allow very limited access to the roof  forcing coaches to use the bleachers as their working area during games.

  2. The safety issue created by using the roof of the structure as the filming station for various activities,(mainly football game filming).  The coaches are forced to use a standard ladder to arrive at the platform used for filming.  The districts insurance carrier has listed this facility as a problem safety concern.

  3. The water leakage into the existing walls has created mold issues as well as rotting of the exterior walls.  This issue has become a major problem and worsens as time goes by.

  4. The issues created by wall deterioration as well as window  placement, on the west side of the structure has weakened the walls, creating further safety concerns.

  5. Fire egress for this facility is also a major concern with only one exit to serve the entire work area.

  6. In an effort to contain the costs, the outside stairway  access was eliminated.  The second fire egress was added by providing a second exit onto the stadium bleachers.”

As the “Director of Operations” for Mexico Public Schools I have been assigned the duties to seek out problem areas and correct them as we become aware of such problems.  In my opinion, this project is a needed upgrade that must be addressed not only to improve the functional use of the facility but to address the safety issues we continue to see in the day to day use.

As is always the case with any project, funding is always an issue.  Depending upon the season, the press-box is a high use facility and is needed, yet is not perceived as being a top priority in the academic budget area.  With this in mind our thoughts have been to determine ways we can replace the structure to an upgraded facility while addressing all of the listed issues I have outlined. At the same time we hope to limit the amount of District funding needed.

My first step has been to create structurally sound facility designed.  Included in this design must be the proper engineering to insure the structure’s integrity.  We hope to address the needs of the staff by providing the needed space, while at the same time creating a safe work environment with proper fire egress if a situation should arise.

The second step has been to determine the estimated cost of the upgraded facility.Before photo pressbox #2

The projected cost of the press box has been determined by the District Architect Sam Winn and Associates.  Obviously this must be a simple estimate based on per square foot  prior to the bidding process.  The following estimates have been gathered.

The cost of upgrading the footer/foundation and the addition of Structural steel to meet specification outlined by J & M Engineering  is projected to be $26,000.00.  The estimated “pre-bid” cost of the actual Press-Box structure is $132,000.00.

After bidding of the project the actual construction and demolition came in at a cost of 237,923.00.  I was shocked at the actual bid cost as it compared to the estimated cost.  With this in mind we reevaluated a number of options including a one story hardened roof structure which would allow scouting and filming crews access to the roof during football games.  The cost of the one story system was 191,410 dollars.  The second story would cost another 46,513.00.  The addition of the enclosed second story would provide a safer work environment as well as additional space for future usage.  The structure is expensive but is also a commercial grade facility designed to last for many years to come.  You simply get what you pay for!

The third step has been to inquire and apply for funding from private institutions located within the area. The district sees this  structure, as needed  yet addresses very little of the academic needs of our students.   On the other hand the press-box is a very visible facility, it is used by a number of school programs and does make a statement about community pride.   With this in mind we have asked for private funding to assist with the construction.  The response has been very good.  We have commitments of 100 thousand dollars at the present time.

The fourth step is to seek board approval and request funding from the district should it be needed.  The proposal was presented and a motion was made to construct the 2 story facility.

The board of education approved  the construction of this project on September 18th 2013 at the regular session school board meeting.  The winning contractor was Grove Construction who competed with 4 other contractors for the project.  Pre construction meetings have been held with actual on site work to begin at the conclusion of the football season and prior to the beginning of track season.  Our hope is this structure will provide for the district needs for many years to come.

Mitch Ridgway

Director of Operations

Mexico Public Schools


The following documents are available for download as a PDF document, you will need a tool such as Adobe Acrobat to download and open these files.  A copy of Adobe Acrobat can be accessed at no charge by clicking here.

Stadium Press Box Drawings

Pressbox 1 (PDF Download)

Pressbox 2 (PDF Download)

Pressbox 3 (PDF Download)

Pressbox 4 (PDF Download)

Pressbox 5 (PDF Download)

Pressbox 6 (PDF Download)

Pressbox As Built Drawings (Added 11/21/2013)


Proposed Press Box

Rear View of Stadium Box