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20130222 Mission High School Field House MapMISSION— On, Feb. 13, the Mission Consolidated Independent School District Board approved the final plans for the Mission High School field house. Executive Director of Maintenance, Facilities & Construction Ricardo Rivera explained the project was accelerated so the new facility will be ready before football season.

“We are trying to get this project started, that way it will hopefully be completed by next summer and before football season, next year,” Rivera said.

EGV Architects is the company working on the project; the proposed 16,000-foot field house has been designed to include a weight room, treatment room, boys and girls facilities with laundry rooms, and offices.

Project architect Eddie Vela said coaches would also have mezzanine storage for equipment. The new field house has an unofficial, preliminary cost of $1.3 million more than the Veterans Memorial High School field house, which has the same square footage.

“There is a spaghetti of lines out there. For example, from the current field house there are controls for the lighting in the concession stands that are on the north side,” Vela said. “We have to re-route those to keep them running.”

Rivera added other factors contributing to the higher cost included infrastructure issues at the new location of the field house. He explained on a phone interview Thursday that the property contains multiple underground power lines that need to be relocated, as well as new additions recommended by the Mission Fire Department.

“The Fire Department requested that we install fire hydrants in that area as well,” Rivera said.

The preliminary cost estimate for the MHS field house project is at $3.2 million according to EGV Architects. Rivera said originally the project had a budget of $2.8 million. This total includes architectural fees and any additional costs of construction.

The Veterans Memorial High School field house is currently under construction. Rivera said the VMHS field house had no costly concerns like the MHS field house.

Mission High School Head Football Coach Mario Peña also had concerns that they had not budgeted enough money for equipment for the new field house.

“I just want to make sure we have an allowance for equipment for the building,” Peña said. “I would hate to be in a situation that we complete the building and we don’t have the funds to buy furniture.”

Peña said he researched with neighboring districts who have high schools with fairly new equipment, such as Laredo ISD and Weslaco ISD. Peña said money allocated for weights alone ranged from $150,000 to $200,000.

The football coach explained originally, they were looking at $200,000 for furniture and all other necessities for the new field house.

“The way things are now, like anything else, the cost of weight equipment has gone up,” Peña said. “My recommendation is that we need at least $225,000 allowance, and that needs to be in the new budget.”

The board decided to place the concerns of the Athletic Department for funds on the agenda for the next finance committee meeting in March.

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