The Tigers are getting closer to their home.
The Cape Girardeau School Board on Tuesday approved most of the bid packages for the proposed $2.9 million Cape Girardeau Central High School stadium.
Construction is expected to begin on the 4,000-seat facility in the coming weeks.
"We're very excited to get our own home football field," said Neil Glass, director of administrative services for the Cape Girardeau School District. "We're also excited we'll be able to decorate that football field with Tiger orange and Tiger symbols. Now we've got a field we can call our own."
No one is more excited about the new stadium than the Tigers' new head football coach, Nathan Norman.
"I can't wait to see that machinery out in the field and things starting to happen," he said Tuesday. "Our kids are starting to ask questions and get excited about it."
The field and the stadium are expected to be completed by the start of this fall's football season. Whether the field is real or artificial remains to be seen.
"We will be going out for bid for artificial turf so we have that number in case we get some good bids," Glass said. "We still feel like it's a favorable time to be bidding, even though there's volatility out there in the gas market."
If the financials work, the field will be turf, Glass said; if not, it will be a natural playing surface.
The board approved three bids for the bulk of construction Tuesday.
Bid No. 2, the seating portion of the project, will go before the board after district staff members further explore price and installation at area athletic complexes.
A bid of $776,343 for the stadium's general works, including restrooms, concession stands, concrete and fencing around the stadium, went to Sides Construction Co. of Jackson. The general contractor's bid came in $3,000 more than Kiefner Brothers Inc. of Cape Girardeau, but Sides' alternate bid of $20,000 for fencing came in well under Kiefner's $65,000 project price. The board accepted the general works bid and the alternate because of the overall cost savings.
Kirn Plumbing and Heating of Cape Girardeau was the low bidder for the stadium's plumbing work, at $161,985. Total Electric Co., of Farmington, Mo., won the electric bid, with a project cost of $441,392.
Glass said contractors can work on the other elements of the stadium while district officials investigate area stadiums in Southeast Missouri. The board should receive those bids in the coming weeks. Glass said the project remains within budget, and cost savings could be realized in bid package No. 2.
The stadium, to be one of the biggest in the region, will be a home for generations of Tiger fans, Norman said.
"I'm happy for the veterans on our staff who have been with Cape Central forever," he said. "They're finally getting something to call their own. It means a lot to our team and our community to have our own football field -- it's been a long time coming."
1000 S. Silver Springs Road, Cape Girardeau, MO