Dudy Noble project on schedule

Senior project manager with Innovative Construction Management Ches Fedric was the guest speaker at Tuesday's Kiwanis Club of Starkville meeting. (Photo by Sarah Raines, SDN)
Staff Writer

Innovative Construction Management senior project manager Ches Fedric spoke to the Kiwanis Club of Starkville on Tuesday, telling club members about the renovation and addition to Dudy Noble Field at Polk-Dement Stadium.

Construction workers were able to occupy the stadium on June 20 to begin construction and plan to have the field portion ready for practice by Jan. 5. The first phase of the project, which includes seating of the lower levels, some added amenities and field improvements, is planned to be completed by March.

The overall budget for the stadium is $55 million, and the budget for the field is $1 million.

ICM helps to manage construction projects, representing the owner of the property and bringing together the owner, architects and the builders throughout the entire project.

"We were hired by MSU a little over two years ago for this project," Fedric said. "Right now we are on schedule."

The entire project will not be finished until 2019, but in 2018 the "lower bowl" of the stadium will be ready, with 3,300 chair-back seats, some berm seating and a completed ticket office and plaza.

Fedric said seating will be comfortably spaced and there will be plenty of standing room. After the full project is finished in 2019, there will be 13,000 seats but total capacity will surpass the capacity before the renovations.

"When you think about the old ball park, when they said there was 15,000 people, probably 4,000 couldn't even see the game," Fedric said. "Now, there will be views from 360 degrees around the field."

For the 2018 season, the area from foul pole to foul pole with the Left Field Lounge will be completed, and in 2019 there will be premium suites overlooking the field called the Left Field Lofts.

Fedric said the athletics department is deciding how they are going to lease the lofts, but they are overnight suites that can be rented out.

"It's going to be a very unique characteristic of the ball park," Fedric said. "The first phase will feature 12 units, and then there's a planned second phase toward the left field foul goal that can have either 12 or 16 depending on demand."

As for the Left Field Lounge, there will be individually-framed composite decks with power, storage and better views. Grilling will still be allowed in the Left Field Lounge.

Fedric said the new double-tiered grand stand will be an intimidating atmosphere for opposing teams but will provide better views for everybody. There will be 20 sky boxes in the completed product, as well as new team spaces including a new locker room and an expanded dugout.

This week, workers are laying new sod on the field. They began laying sod on Monday and should be finished on Thursday evening.