The state champion Montesano High School football team will probably have to play its first “home” game next season away from home, and maybe the second, but there’s hope that new grandstands at Rottle Field will be completed by October. On Thursday, the Montesano School Board unanimously approved plans to rebuild the grandstands, which burned last September.
That would leave at least three home games for Bulldog football. The girls soccer team, which played some games at Stewart Field in Aberdeen and some at Rottle Field without seating, should be able to host a crowd for at least part of its season.
“For those kids who are seniors, we want them to have the chance to play there. We’re going to do everything we can to make that happen,” said Superintendent Dan Winter.
Those who have been tracking the progress of the replacement design will note a few changes in the final version, but by and large the design will remain as it was when presented to the community in January and met with broad approval.
“We are to the point now where the design presented to the community has been accepted by the insurance company, minus a couple of things,” Winter said.
Perhaps the biggest blow to a district already strapped for storage space is the loss of an expanded, water-tight storage space under the stands.
“The argument they had from the get-go is that’s not what we had before, we had a dirt storage area. They were fairly adamant that that’s what we needed to get back if we want to get this done without any money out of our pocket,” Winter said.
He said the storage space would still fit items like hurdles, and concrete risers will at least cut down on the moisture.
There had also been a hope to upgrade the concessions area, but the insurance would not cover code upgrades for things such as electrical work.
“Instead of having to pay to have to do code upgrades in there, we have a storage room” which can be used for basic concessions as in the old stands, Winter said.
In the press box, insurance balked at adding a window where there had been a glassless opening and a wall separating the box from the doors. For those changes, the district decided to use some of the roughly $8,000 in donations.
“We want the people who donated that money to know we’re using that money to put windows in, or doors, for example,” Winter said.
The city has agreed to allow the gym bathrooms to count toward code requirements for the grandstands, but the stands will have six stalls in the women’s room and two stalls and two urinals in the men’s.
But the most popular cosmetic elements will remain: The number of columns holding up the roof have been halved and the whole structure moved about 10 feet closer to the field relative to the old grandstands, improving the view for most all the roughly 1,250 seats.
For seating, wooden benches will sit on concrete risers. The maintenance cost of real wood in some areas of the structure may be offset by the exterior, which will be concrete made to look like cedar lap siding.
With the school board’s approval of the design, Winter said the project will go out to bid as soon as possible. Exactly when the grandstands will be ready for a game will be hard to say until the bids come in.
“It’s just going to depend on the contractor. It’s doubtful that Sept. 1 it will be done,” Winter said.