The City of Myrtle Beach is asking for $2 million for renovations to Myrtle Beach High School’s Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium.
During an Horry County School Board meeting on Monday, city councilman Wayne Gray addressed the school board to present the request.
I look at fields and tracks that can’t even be used. I can’t give you this money to make this place more comfortable.
Holly Heniford, District 1 school board member
Construction on the 48-year old stadium will cost $6.5 million, said Gray. The stadium has been jointly owned by The City of Myrtle Beach and Horry County Schools since the last renovation in 2008.
Work is scheduled to start this January and will include upgrades to the stadium seating, a new press box, locker rooms, restrooms and entry and exit gates. The playing field will get a new artificial surface and a new track and sprint lanes will be installed.
What the agreement says is the school board is responsible for whatever they would normally provide a high school stadium.
Ron Andrews, Assistant city manager
“The city and school district jointly own that facility, and of course the agreement is they would be responsible for the district standards for athletics facilities,” said Gray.
Gray said $2 million was the cost estimate for upgrades to the items that district is responsible for maintaining.
Assistant City Manager Ron Andrews said that under the proposed agreement, the district wouldn’t pay for the total cost of any one upgrade, but that the city is asking the district to split the cost.
“The school district will provide the level of amenities required by the state at that class of high schools,” said Andrews. “What the agreement says is the school board is responsible for whatever they would normally provide a high school stadium.”
I would have a very difficult time seeing the board coming up with that money because that stadium is the best stadium in the district.
Joe DeFeo, Board of Education chairman
For example, said Andrews, the state requires high schools to have a certain amount of bleachers in a high school stadium. Under the city’s proposed agreement, the city and the district would split the cost of replacing the bleachers. The team rooms are also being replaced and the city is asking the district to pay half of the $1 million cost.
Is it worth it?
District 1 school board member Holly Heniford said that there are other facilities in North Myrtle Beach and Loris that were more in need of the money than Doug Shaw stadium.
“I look at fields and tracks that can’t even be used,” she said. “I can’t give you this money to make this place more comfortable.”
Board chairman Joe DeFeo said that it would be a “difficult decision” for the board to approve the money.
“I would have a very difficult time seeing the board coming up with that money because that stadium is the best stadium in the district,” he said.
According to a draft of the 2016 Outdoor Athletic Facility assessment, athletic facilities at Myrtle Beach High School are in need of $246,400 worth of repairs.
North Myrtle Beach High School athletic facilities are in need of $1.6 million, Conway High School athletic facilities are in need of $1.6 million and Loris High School needs $1.3 million in repairs to bring the athletic facilities up to district standards.
According the report, the school district estimates that all the athletic facility repairs in the district will cost $8.8 million, and should be completed within five years.
The proposed agreement has not yet been approved by the Horry County Board of Education.
Christian Boschult, 843-626-0218, @TSN_Christian