KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Kingsport City Schools Board of Education held a special called meeting on Tuesday where they decided the bid for the Buck Van Huss Dome Renovation Project.
Preston Construction Company won the low bid for $19,015,000 over J.A. Street & Associates bid of $19,925,000.
The complete renovation total will cost $23,215,000, which includes the bid, alternative additions, value engineering items and contingencies.
The Buck Van Huss Dome has been closed for more than a year after moisture was found throughout parts of the structure.
“That really set us on a trajectory to go through a design process and work toward having a renovation take place in the dome,” Andy True, Kingsport City Schools Assistant Superintendent said.
True said along with the structural construction, technical work will be done as well to help the facility last for a long time.
Steel beams will be placed under the existing wood on the roof.
“It will look very similar to what we currently have now with wood, but it’ll just be a structural steel kind of process,” True said.
True said renovation of the HVAC system, new seating, a new gym floor, a new scoreboard and new sound system electronics will also be included in the project.
Some areas around the dome will also be renovated.
“We’re looking at some spaces in the classroom areas, the activities office to kind of secure that space a little bit more, the activities lobby, kind of a front plaza entrance,” True said.
Alternative additions were added to the project which include new lower bowl bleachers, renovation of exterior dome entry plaza and ramps and additional parking behind rear gym entrance and ADA Parking at the rear entrance.
One alternative addition that wasn’t included for now is the renovations of the boys and girls varsity locker rooms, and Spirit Shaker and cheer looker rooms.
“We’re hoping to be able to maybe find some wiggle room with the budget numbers and be able to include that as well for students there,” Melissa Woods, President of the KCS Board of Education said.
In the meantime, The Tribe Athletic Complex apart of the former Sullivan North High School is being used for basketball games and other sporting events.
“We’ve been very blessed to have some other options,” Woods said. “But the dome is iconic. It’s a staple in our community, so we’re really excited about hopefully looking at March 2025 for completion date.”
The Kingsport Board of Mayor & Alderman will have to approve the bid amount first before work can begin. Their next meeting will be Tuesday, Oct. 3.