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Woodlawn High may wait longer for new stadium; school board hoping to dodge inflation

Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 7:12 AM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Woodlawn High football team will still get a new stadium according to several Birmingham School Board members. However, after Tuesday night’s school board vote, it may not be ready for the 2022 season.   

The previous board voted over the summer to approve $5 million for the new stadium and fieldhouse. But last month, a new board that included five new members was sworn in. One of which played and coached at Woodlawn.

Tuesday, board members learned from the architect on the project that the bid for the work had grown to more than $8 million dollars because of increased material costs, supply chain issues and an effort to increase seating in order to host playoff games.    

The board voted 7-2 with two abstentions to reject the bid, even though the architect projected the stadium could not likely be re-bid until next year, leaving open the possibility that construction costs could grow even more.

Board member Leticia Watkins was among those who said she would be willing take the risk. “If the cost of the materials has gone up at that time, I don’t think there’s a question of what we’re willing to invest in our young people and we’re willing to make this happen for them”, said Watkins. “We just want the process to be better.”

Board President Jason Meadows added “In good faith and to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars, I just think that we need to go through the process again and at the end, if we come out with a higher outcome, we will all have peace to know that we did our best.”

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