The city council awarded a $1 million contract for architectural and engineering services on Tuesday evening that will bring the Hinchliffe Stadium ever closer to being fully restored.
New York City-based Wank Adams Slavin Associates (WASA) which has completed phase one of the design and field testing examining the existing condition of the site and designing construction documents for a part of the stadium was awarded the $1 million contract for phase-one bidding administration, construction administration, phase-two schematic design, preparation of construction documents, and construction administration.
The firm is also to conduct field investigation of a proposed new building area near the historic stadium that made part of the Great Falls National Park last December by the United States Congress.
Built in the early 1930s, the art-deco style gem that’s been in disrepair since 1997 in the corner of Liberty and Maple Streets was once home to both the New York Black Yankees and the New York Cubans. It provided a home for the segregated Negro League. It produced National Baseball Hall of Fame stars Larry Doby, Josh Gibson, William Julius “Judy” Johnson, Oscar Charleston, and Leroy “Satchel” Paige.
The stadium’s rich history got it listed on the state and National Register of Historic Places since 2004.
Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres said the $1 million contract will bring the stadium to the point where the city can move ahead with restoring it. And it will do it in a cost efficient manner, said the mayor earlier in the month.
Torres said instead of piecemealing with different companies, WASA, which was previously awarded a $338,000 contract in September 2013, will be able to perform the requisite architectural and engineering work needed to get the city to the point where it can go to bid for the actual restoration.
Price tag for barebones restoration stands at $24 million, according to a presentation WASA gave before the council in March 2014. However, to modernize the stadium with added visitor center and other added amenities the cost stands at $44 million.
Torres has said the added bells and whistles will likely be excluded from his vision of a restored stadium. The mayor reasoned a historic building cannot be made anew through addition of new pieces and parts.
Tuesday’s contract covers the engineering aspect of the stadium. The school board has gone to bid to conduct a market study that will determine how the stadium will sustain itself after it has been restored.
Council members unanimously approved the award of the contract during Tuesday’s special meeting.