A parking lot overhaul and new softball fields are on the way for Hutchinson Public Schools.
Low bids for the projects were accepted by the Hutchinson School Board Monday evening: $499,827 to renovate the middle school parking lot and $432,296 to construct two new softball fields between the high school and the middle school. An alternate to extend utilities for a concession stand and a restroom was rejected.
"It was very expensive when we found out how far the utilities are away from that (location)," said Brian Mohr, director of buildings and grounds.
MIDDLE SCHOOL PARKING LOT
The new plan will look similar to the current layout, but with some alterations. The eastern lane in front of the middle school will be widened and made into a one-way for its entire length. Drivers could previously travel both directions in front of the building’s south face, but that will no longer be the case. Parking in front of the building along the drop-off route will also be removed. Parents can drop off at any point along the route.
A circle at the school’s front doors will be removed, as some people drove around it and some cut past it, causing confusion.
The only access to the parking portion of the lot will be the most western entrance, which will remain open to two-way traffic.
Four fields commonly used by Hutchinson Middle School athletics were lost a few years ago when they were removed from Linden Park. Plans to renovate West Elementary with the addition of a new wing is expected to result in the loss of an additional field on the building’s north side.
The two new fields are planned for the east side of the bike path between Hutchinson High School and Hutchinson Middle School. The fields would be near the tennis courts, with parking at the existing parking lot near the courts.