'Tremendous progress made'

Alex Doty • Oct 26, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Construction crews have made quick work of transforming the scene of Grand Haven’s waterfront over the past month.

“There’s been some tremendous progress made,” City Manager Pat McGinnis said. “The bleachers came down very quickly.”

Following a Sept. 29 groundbreaking event, crews began the process of tearing out the old bleachers and excavating the new stadium site. Work on the addition to the adjacent Depot building began the week of Sept. 25.

“Everything is certainly on schedule,” McGinnis said this week.

According to McGinnis, the new stadium project is on track for a Memorial Day 2018 completion. The new design will have tiered grass seating, a volleyball playing surface, seasonal ice rink, areas for dancing, a permanent band shell, winter fire pits, concession stand, flagpoles and other amenities.

The new stadium is named after Lynne Sherwood, a local philanthropist who died in 2016. Sherwood and her family have been philanthropic supporters of the community for decades, and a $3 million gift from her estate helped kick off the redevelopment project.

Earlier this summer, city officials approved a grant agreement with the state to receive $280,000 from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund. As part of the deal, the city agreed to a $674,900 local match.

The Grand Haven Area Community Foundation also announced this past August that the project had received a $25,000 gift from Fifth Third Bank.

McGinnis noted that there have been several minor, unforeseen bumps in the road along the way, but they have been able to be funded via contingency.

“The soil compaction under the building section that we’re doing is a challenge,” he said. “We’re going to have to put in more substantial footings than we planned.”

McGinnis also noted that the soil that was under the old stadium was filled with debris that would need to be disposed of in a proper landfill.

“We’re digging that out and we’re finding it’s not something we can just dump somewhere,” he said.

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