Construction of most of the new David Haffner Stadium at Carthage High School is ahead of schedule, according to Carthage school administrators, with final completion set for June.

Construction of most of the new David Haffner Stadium at Carthage High School is ahead of schedule, according to Carthage school administrators, with final completion set for June.
R-9 Assistant Superintendent for Business Mark Baker took The Carthage Press on a tour of the construction site for the $10 million stadium on River Street immediately south of Carthage High School on Feb. 2.
The new artificial turf field is in place and asphalt subsurface of the track is finished, as well as the 800-seat visitors bleachers.
Workers have enclosed the new Tigers Field House on the north end of the stadium and are finishing out the interior of the building. Also taking shape is the tall, two-story press box and the practice fields for football and soccer immediately to the east of the main stadium.
“We are ahead of schedule in almost every aspect of the project except the home stands and the parking lot,” Baker said. “And both of those are on schedule to be finished mid to late June. The budget is still on goal as well, we cannot shy away from those numbers.”

Student help
Baker said carpentry students at the Carthage Technical Center will be working with the masonry contractor to build the ticket booths on the northwest side of the new stadium.
“We're trying to incorporate the students in the project so they have a little ownership in the project,” Baker said. “R.E. Smith Construction (the prime contractor) and the masons are going to work with the high school students on how to block buildings. The kids have been practicing for a while and now they're going to see it done by professionals and finish the projects.”
The material has been gathered for that part of the project has been gathered and work will start soon.

Deleted items
Baker said the district had to drop two big planned items that could have broken the budget on the project.
• He said an elevator shaft is being built to the press box, but the planned elevator will not be installed at this time.
“That was also an add alternate, a value engineered item we took out,” Baker said. “But it was definitely more cost efficient to build the shaft right now than to try to do it later. ADA does not require an elevator for this kind of project, but we felt it was important that we do offer the opportunity in case we need it in the future.”
• An extra parking lot at the south end of the complex off Fir Road was also deleted from the project.
Baker said the parking lot in front of the stadium will be finished, and that combined with the existing parking lots at the high school and Carthage Technical Center South will provide a little more than 1,000 parking spaces for the stadium.
He said the district holds events that might require more parking than that maybe twice or, with the addition of Joplin to the Central Ozark Conference year after next, three times a year.

Field House
The Tiger Field House has been framed and is covered from the weather.
Workers were in the building installing drywall and ducts for the heating and air conditioning system.
The Field House will house the home football locker room, weight room and meeting rooms, wrestling practice room, coaches offices and classrooms.
“The weight room is obviously bigger than we have now,” Baker said. “When we built the high school, we built the weight room at the high school as large as we could make it within the parameters of the building. We planned for this weight room if this building ever took place.”
Baker said the wrestling team will practice in the field house, but meets will still be held in the Carthage High School gymnasium.
Currently the wrestling team practices in the auxiliary gym at the high school and it has a smaller practice space upstairs in the high school.
Baker said the field house will free up space at the high school for new classrooms to handle the growing student population.
“The field house helps os one, in athletics, but also it helps us with classroom space at the high school,” Baker said. “It frees up a total of three classrooms at the high school. It will alleviate some of the overcrowding we have now. Teachers are sharing classrooms in between prep times. This will definitely help the high school.”
Baker said its space the high school can definitely use.
“The high school has probably at least 300 more students in it now than it did when we moved in eight years ago,” Baker said. “It was built for 1,500 students. Obviously we can get more than 1,500 in it, but we're about there. As of Feb. 1, there were 1,406 kids in the building. That's after the semester graduates.”

Other projects
Baker said the supports for the digital video scoreboard are in place, but the scoreboard won't be installed until closer to completion.
We have asked for it to be delayed as long as we can because the warranty starts as soon as it is installed,” Baker said. “So we're holding off on it.”
The field has lines for football and soccer. Long jump and triple jump runways have been installed inside the track instead of outside.
Shot put ring, javelin runways and other track and field related areas are being installed.
“Everyone will enjoy the number of stalls we have in the restrooms here compared to KE Baker Stadium,” Baker said. “There are 28 stalls for ladies and around 18 places for the men.”