Wetumpka plans

Daniel Dye / The Herald Plans for a mult-use, city-owned athletic complex are unveiled at a City of Wetumpka Council meeting.

Wetumpka High School is a big step closer to playing football this fall in a modern athletic complex.

The Wetumpka City Council approved last Wednesday a bid for a new city-owned athletic facility.

The bid was unanimously accepted by the council from Selma-based Frasier-Ousley Construction and Engineering for $4,985,900.

The project includes a multiuse stadium that will seat between 5,000 and 5,500. It will include a synthetic turf field, an eight-lane track, a state-of-the-art scoreboard, dressing rooms, concessions areas and a VIP box.

"This stadium gives us the ability to host large track meets in Wetumpka," Mayor Jerry Willis said. "Some of those meets could bring in 20 to 25 schools to complete which will be good for the economy here in Wetumpka."

Kevin Singleton, a representative with architectural firm McKee and Associates, informed the council McKee and Associates and Frasier-Ousley have experience constructing large complexes.

"We have worked with them on commercial projects and school projects," Singleton said. "McKee has worked on Cramton Bowl; we just finished a project at Thompson High School in Alabaster."

Thompson's athletic facilities cost a reported $19.2 million and included a football stadium and a 58,000 square-foot athletic complex, which features a 30,000 square-foot indoor practice facility.

Singleton told the council the most complex part of the project will be installing the turf field.

"I was extremely excited to just see it get finalized," Wetumpka football coach Tim Perry said. "It's gone from the drawings and the discussion to the actual construction. The mayor and the city council committed to build a first-class facility and the plans reflect that."

Willis is optimistic the facility will be primed and ready to host Wetumpka’s 2020 home opener versus Tallassee.

"We have a lot of work to be done," Willis said. "Targeting that date is pushing it and pushing it hard to get this done, but it's possible to do."