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New stadium, facilities coming to Southeast Bulloch


BROOKLET — After being held up for nearly a year, renovations and new construction plans are finally underway for the athletic facilities at Southeast Bulloch High School.

Pope Construction is now in the first stages of what will be $4,659,000 in work that will build a new football/track and field facility, a new football field house, new practice fields, a new concession stand and renovated locker rooms for spring sports.

"We’ve already started on the renovations," said SEB athletic director Jack Webb. "Right now, the floor in the old gym is being redone and the locker rooms are being fixed up for soccer and track in the spring."

After the existing locker rooms are restored, a field house will be added on to the end of the old gym to provide dressing space for the football team. Construction on the old gym is slated to be completed by January 1.

Last year, the initial plans for the improvements were accepted by the Bulloch County Board of Education, but this spring, bids from construction companies were deemed too high and the project was put on hold until it could come in under budget.

Initial plans called for the new stadium to be complete in time for the 2011 football stadium, but while that won’t be the case, the extra wait for a new facility is the only real product of the temporary holdup.

"There were no major things that had to be dropped from the original plans," said Webb. "There were just a few minor changes. Of course, the main objective for all of this had the safety of our kids in mind."

Currently, the stands at Fred Shaver Field are perilously close to the playing field — only about 10 feet on the home sideline — posing a potential threat to fast moving football players being tackled out of bounds. At the new stadium, there will be plenty of room between playing surfaces and the stands, making things much safer and fulfilling Georgia High School Association standards that, if not met, could prevent SEB from hosting postseason games.

"When everything is finished, the new stadium will look very similar to what Statesboro has right now," said Webb. We’ll have the new football field with a track running around it and a capacity of around 2,200, which is about four or five hundred more than the current stadium."

Construction on the new stadium will commence after the completion of the Yellow Jackets’ football season.

SEB’s spring sports — soccer and track and field — are in the process of finding locations for home matches this spring. Mill Creek, the Brooklet Recreation Department fields, and the soccer/track facility at Georgia Southern University have all been discussed.


Mike Anthony can be reached at (912) 489-9404.