A former monument to Early High School athletics may have seen its final days if the Early City Council approves tearing down the old locker room building at McDonald Park.
Early Assistant Administrator Larry McConn did not sidestep the sentimental value of the old locker room at McDonald Park, which once served as the football field for EHS until 2007, while requesting the council approve tearing down the structure and budgeting its demolition, and potential replacement with a pavilion, for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
It is a very sentimental building to some,” McConn said. “I anticipate there will be some negative comments about it. We can use it to put a pavilion up as a McDonald Park memorial locker room pavilion or something like that and name it. We can use the same basic footprint that is there already.”
McConn said the city currently uses the building as storage for its Christmas decorations. Due to extensive decay of the structure, at this time it cannot serve any other purpose than storage.
“This was meant to be brought up several times. This will be in McDonald Park and the locker rooms that are there,” McConn said. “It’s come up some time ago that the locker rooms are a dilapidated building that is starting to come apart and needs a lot of work … With the council’s blessing, we would like to investigate the cost of tearing it down. Either tearing the slab out and re-pouring or re-topping the slab, whichever we can do cheaper, and putting a pavilion up there in the place of where the locker room is.”
McConn added the idea of completely restoring the locker room would be farfetched because in its current state, the building could not support electricity because of it would be a potential safe hazard and he doubts its current plumbing system could support running water. As the park continues adding amenities such as a sound garden and basketball court, the former site of countless pregame pep talks became necessary for other projects.
“It would be more usable to the public. Right now, those buildings are locked up because it’s just storage for our Christmas stuff,” McConn said. “There is no use for the public for it right now, even if it was cleaned out. It has no electricity. The electricity there is would have to completely be redone to make sure it’s safe. I have my doubts the plumbing system is sound to turn on in there. We’re looking at quite a bit of money to make it available … We just don’t have a need for it at this point.”
The council also:
Held its final budget workshop before voting whether to approve the $6.8 million budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. Discussed plans for a lease agreement with Solaris Oilfield Infrastructure Held an executive session regarding economic development and real property.