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Stadium project moving along on schedule

Alex Doty • Dec 22, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Construction crews have been busy transforming Grand Haven’s Waterfront Stadium over the past three months, and city officials say they are on track for the facility’s opening next summer.

“Things are on schedule and moving along pretty good,” City Manager Pat McGinnis said this week.

McGinnis noted that the only real challenge thus far has come from the sub-surface soil condition at the site of the new seating and stage area.

“We’ve done some very deliberate soil borings and found underneath there (that) there’s a lot of wood,” he said. “We’re trying to do some additional work to mitigate that.”

Adjacent to the site of the new stadium seating area, construction crews are getting the addition to the depot building enclosed so work can begin on the interior of the addition during the winter. The addition adds restrooms, a ticketing area, a small catering kitchen and a public service/concessions area to the stadium site.

Work on the stadium began immediately following a Sept. 29 groundbreaking event. The old wooden bleachers were demolished, and excavation work started on the depot addition and stadium site.

“It was a rather sudden and drastic change from what has been there for 50 years,” McGinnis said, noting that the removal of the old bleachers and the new stadium design will open up the view of the waterfront.

“That was a big driving factor when we did the public input process,” he said.

Set to be completed by Memorial Day 2018, the new stadium will have tiered grass seating, and is designed to incorporate a volleyball playing surface, seasonal ice rink, areas for dancing, a permanent band shell, winter fire pits, concession stand, flagpoles and other amenities.

The stadium will be named after Lynne Sherwood, a local philanthropist who died in 2016. A $3 million gift from her estate helped kick off the redevelopment project.

Earlier this year, the city 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 in August that the project had received a $25,000 gift from Fifth Third Bank.

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