Work on a $6.7 million renovation of the SM South stadium is expected to begin in mid-October.
The project is expected to transform the tired, 1960-vintage stadium into an attractive venue with new restrooms, concessions and locker rooms as well as much-needed handicapped accessibility.
Kenny Southwick, deputy superintendent for the Shawnee Mission School District, said the project, which is expected to be completed by May 2017, originally was intended to demolish and replace the stadium.
“When we got into it, we decided a renovation was better, the bones are still good,” he said.
The plan calls for a complete facelift of the concrete stadium surface and construction of a new press box and a plaza at the south end of the stadium. The capacity also will be reduced from its current 10,000 seats to 7,500.
Southwick said the new plaza will be the central gathering point for people attending events at the stadium. New concessions and restrooms will be located there.
He said people will no longer be able to congregate behind the stands, solving a long time security concern. The stadium is used not only by SM South, but SM West and occasionally SM East.
The track area is expected to be ready for the spring season, Southwick added.
J.E. Dunn Construction was selected to build the project, ACI Boland Architects is the designer.