Photo by Jon Anderson
Hoover High band room Oct 2016
Equipment fills the band room at Hoover High while the 300-plus-member marching band practices outside on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. School officials plan to build a 10,000-square-foot band building that is expected to cost about $6 million.
The Hoover school board tonight approved a new capital plan that includes spending $6 million for a new band building for Hoover High School and nearly $2.2 million for new tracks and artificial football turf for Hoover and Spain Park high schools.
The capital plan includes $2.9 million for a host of maintenance issues, such as roofing and painting work and replacement of heating and air conditioning systems at various schools.
Schools Superintendent Kathy Murphy said Hoover High School badly needs a new band room because it can’t fit its entire band in the same room for rehearsals.
Hoover High band director Ryan Fitchpatrick said this year’s marching band has more than 300 members, including the auxiliary teams.
And with the number of band students at Simmons and Bumpus middle schools who will be moving up to the high school, he expects the band to be around 400 members in three to four years, he said. That’s about the size of the Million Dollar Band at the University of Alabama, he said.
“The facility we’ve got now isn’t designed for a band of our size,” Fitchpatrick said.
It’s not just a matter of having space for all the band students to be in the same room, Fitchpatrick said. There also is a significant lack of storage space for all the band equipment, he said.
Murphy said school officials plan to build a 10,000-square-foot facility for the band program at Hoover High. The $6 million figure is just a cost estimate, she said. They hope to be able to build the facility for less, but they’re trying to be conservative with their estimate, she said.
Fitchpatrick said this is a wonderful problem for a band program to have and that he is happy that Hoover students and parents continue to put their faith in the band program at Hoover High and take advantage of all the opportunities offered in music education.
The capital plan approved tonight also included $782,000 for new artificial turf at Hoover High’s football stadium, $745,000 for new artificial turf at Spain Park High’s football stadium, $452,000 for a new track at Hoover High and $200,000 for a new track at Spain Park High.
The current turf at Hoover has been there since 2005, while the turf at Spain Park has been there since 2007, Murphy said. Many artificial turf experts say that if you can get 10 years out of turf, you’ve done well, she said. Hoover officials are considering buying the more expensive concussion padding with the new turf, which is very important for the safety of players, Murphy said.
While the Hoover High varsity team plays its home games at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium instead of the on-campus artificial turf stadium, Hoover High Principal Don Hulin noted that the junior varsity and freshmen football teams play at the on-campus stadium. Lacrosse teams also play there, and lacrosse likely will be sanctioned by the Alabama High School Athletic Association, he said.
The track surface at Hoover High has been there since 2000, and the subbase has been there since 1994, Murphy said. The track surface at Spain Park has been there since 2007, and the subbase has been there since 2001, she said.
Hulin said state track officials have said Hoover can no longer host regional track and field meets because of the condition of the turf and track. School board member Craig Kelley said the track is in terrible condition. “It’s almost dangerous,” he said.
All of the money for the band room and athletic expenditures are slated to come from the $11 million the Hoover school board received from the Vestavia Hills Board of Education for the former Berry High School campus, said Tina Hancock, the school system’s chief financial officer.
Money for the roofing, painting and heating and air conditioning projects will come from other capital funds, Hancock said. The school system already has $2.7 million in its capital reserves and expects to receive $2.8 million from the state for capital projects for fiscal 2017, which began Oct. 1, she said. That means nearly $5.6 million will be available, not including additional money left from the sale of the former Berry High campus.
The capital maintenance projects planned to be done include:
- $1 million for an HVAC control software upgrade
- $800,000 for HVAC chillers at Brock’s Gap Intermediate School
- $500,000 for districtwide HVAC replacements
- $200,000 for districtwide interior and exterior painting jobs
- $138,278 for a roof for the upper gym at Simmons Middle School
- $126,234 for a roof for the office and an adjoining classroom at Rocky Ridge Elementary
- $125,000 for a chiller control system for Brock’s Gap Intermediate
- $20,000 for two HVAC kitchen heat pumps for the Hoover High kitchen
- $17,000 to replace a set of doors at Hoover High