CINCINNATI -- Crews will start preparing for the construction of FC Cincinnati's West End stadium next month, Turner Construction officials said.
West Enders will see the beginning stages of construction next month, and the completion date of Taft High School's new stadium is uncertain, according to Turner Construction and Cincinnati Public Schools officials.
Crews will begin prepping the property for construction the week of Nov. 16, and officials will host a groundbreaking ceremony for the public on Dec. 19, according to Turner Construction Vice President Dave Spaulding. Construction will begin in March, and West Enders will start to see the facility take shape in May. The stadium is slated to be completed by March 1, 2021.
Watch the news conference in the player below:
FC Cincinnati plans to demolish Taft High School's Stargel Stadium and build its own Major League Soccer-mandated stadium on the site, which means Oct. 26 will be the last game the Senators play on their home field. The team will play at Stargel if they make it to the playoffs, Spaulding said.
Officials unsure when Stargel Stadium will be rebuilt
The previous agreement between FC Cincinnati and Cincinnati Public Schools had FC Cincinnati officials hiring the architect to build Taft's new stadium, but now Cincinnati Public Schools officials will make that decision, according to CPS spokeswoman Lauren Worley.
Worley said this plan has been discussed at school board meetings over the last month. The Board is expected to pass the resolution at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Banquet Room in the Mayerson Academy Building.
"The resolution will allow the CPS Facilities Team to pursue building permits and the necessary next steps to begin construction on the new stadium facility," Worley said in a statement. "CPS has a bid open now to hire a construction company for early site work."
Worley said completing the stadium by next season would be a “tight turnaround,” but the Cincinnati Public Schools facilities team is working to have the stadium completed in time for next season.
Spaulding said Turner Construction is not building the high school's new stadium, but he said it's very unlikely the stadium will be completed next year.
"Just knowing construction and scheduling timelines, even if they bring someone in now, it won't be ready for next season," Spaulding said.
Mark Mallory, director of Community Development for FC Cincinnati, said the club had originally agreed to rebuild the stadium with a "goal" of completion for next season.
"Cincinnati Public School district decided at some point that they would rather have control of the construction of their own stadium, so they reached a deal with FC Cincinnati to receive the money for the construction of the new stadium," Mallory said.
Construction plans for FC Cincinnati stadium
Turner Construction has built about 450 stadiums, and its crews have built about half of all MLS stadiums in the country, Spaulding said.
Demolition will begin in November, starting with the northeast corner of the site.
Spaulding said he understands construction parking is a concern for West Enders, as 200 to 400 people could be working at the site on any given day.
“We’ve got several things worked out … right now the idea is that there are several parking garages that have vacancies throughout the city. We work with the city, 3CDC and others to ensure construction parking, so we’re not in where all the locals park,” Spaulding said.
About 50 businesses have submitted bid packages in the hopes of getting in on the project. Turner Construction and FC Cincinnati created an “community benefit agreement” in an effort to choose diverse businesses to work on the stadium, Spaulding said.
“We can have more small business, minority, women-owned business, local business, as a part of the project,” Spaulding said.
Thirty percent of the businesses selected will be small businesses, 25 percent will minority-owned businesses and 7 percent will be businesses owned by women.
If you’re interested in submitting a bid for the project, you can submit through the company’s website.
Stadium design, plans for game day parking
Architects reviewed 12 MLS stadiums around the world to bring best practices to FC Cincinnati’s stadium, Spaulding said. The stadium’s design will allow for an accessible entrance and clear pathways to food and restrooms. There will be an emphasis on designing the Bailey to ensure fans have the best gameday experience.
The “skin” wrapped around the stadium can change colors, and it’s meant to reverberate sound back into the stadium.
Parking during game day “is being figured out,” Spaulding said. He said there will be “100 plus parking” on site, but some of the parking will be “spread out throughout the city.”
“Right now, the idea for a lot of the parking is, there are existing garages with vacancies when you look at Washington Park, WCET … there’s potential with the Tri-State area for a future parking garage,” Spaulding said. “We are doing studies right now for some underground parking on the stadium site.”
Most of FC Cincinnati’s games are played on Wednesday and Saturday evenings, when parking garages are not full, Spaulding said.