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Murfreesboro approves contract increases for soccer fields

The Murfreesboro City Council has approved some new contracts and change orders for over $6.8 million dollars for the Jordan Farm Soccer Fields at Richard Siegel Park.

The city entered an agreement with the Tennessee State Soccer Association in April of 2019, agreeing to improve and expand the capacity of the soccer facility, according to Parks and Recreation Director Nate Williams.

“Richard Siegel’s soccer park is really positioned to become a destination for soccer development along with regional national tournaments,” said Williams.

The contracts Williams presented had been approved by the council in February of 2020, but most Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) spending was halted due to the pandemic.

Since then, several of the building material costs have changed, creating the need for change orders and new contracts. The first change order of $22,880 was for the foundation of the indoor structure to be constructed by Boyce Ballard Construction.

The Boyce Ballard contract was originally approved by city council for $776,800 on Feb. 27, 2020. The change order amount brings the new total for the indoor structure up to $799,680.

A second change order in the amount of $3.1 million was requested for Warner’s Athletic Construction to complete the installation of natural synthetic turf on four of the fields.

The original contract to turf all eight fields was for $5.8 million. The contract was revised to $3,079,460 to turf four of the eight fields, a decision made in light of the “uncertainty of the pandemic,” according to Williams.

Three of these four fields have been completed, with the fourth being nearly finished.

The new contract for $3.1 million seeks to include the remaining four fields that were not a part of last year’s renegotiation.

Williams said the cost difference in waiting to complete the turfing project in two phases as opposed to tackling all eight fields in 2020 is $3,79,574 based on material cost increases.

“I think it was specifically drainage pipe and some of the concrete that we needed,” said Williams.

Councilmen Kirt Wade and Shawn Wright voted in opposition to the change order.

The remaining items of business for the soccer field included two new contracts for the construction of the indoor structure and the installation of lighting.

The indoor structure contract requested the approval of $2.6 million to be used for ClearSpan Fabric Structures to construct the 90,000 square-foot indoor structure.

The 2020 ClearSpan contract was originally approved for $2,543,920 but never executed due to the pandemic, according to an email from Williams. The cost increase is $93,372 based on the higher material cost of steel.

The second new contract amounts to $1.1 million for the installation of LED lighting for six of fields within the Jordan Farm practice facility. This contract involving Musco Lighting is the only contract not previously presented to council in some capacity.

Councilman Wade was the only member to vote in opposition to the lighting agreement.

All of the change orders and contracts will be funded with money in the CIP Budget for Siegel improvements.

Inmates escape plan leads to new security measures at Rutherford County Adult Detention Center

The Rutherford County Adult Detention Center will soon have an eight-foot tall fence around the premises to amp up security after three inmates discussed escape plans recently.

The detention center will pay for the fence with grant money awarded by the state, according to Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh.

The Sheriff’s Office is having additional cameras installed and access controls for gates, which must be linked to an existing access control system, according to an email from Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Lisa Marchesoni.

Charles Nicholas McKee, 36, of Kingwood Drive in Murfreesboro, Steven Wayne Birdwell, 19, of Lebanon and Cody Cain Gilliam, 19, of Shelbyville were charged last Friday with conspiracy to escape and vandalism.

Although the plans were deemed “not plausible” by Chief Deputy Keith Lowery, detention center officials say they do not ignore any potential threat.

“As always, any talk along these lines is considered credible,” Fitzhugh said in a news release.