Bath council to mull McMann athletic complex revamp

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BATH — With designs and cost estimates for improvements at the Edward J. McMann Outdoor Athletic Complex in hand, the City Council this spring is expected to discuss implementing the project.

The talks will take place during the panel’s fiscal year 2019 budget planning process over the next two months, according to Andrew Deci, the city’s director of planning and development.

Claster, a South Portland landscape and architecture firm, teamed with Wright-Pierce, an engineering firm with an office in Topsham, to develop a master plan for the 50-year-old Congress Avenue complex. The city’s Facilities Committee, city staff and stakeholders have all had a hand in formulating the plan, Assistant City Manager Marc Meyers said Monday.

The city budgeted $50,000 in the current fiscal year toward the project. Of that, $10,000 has gone toward an assessment and report on the condition of the complex, and unused funds could be rolled into next year’s budget, Meyers explained.

Along with gathering input from stakeholders, including the city and Regional School Unit 1, the work included conceptual graphic plans of developments and improvements at the site, such as a new maintenance facility and storage area for city equipment; expanded and improved parking and pedestrian access, and locations of future improvement phases. It also comprised conceptual cost estimates for all construction phases.

The master design plan can be viewed at cityofbath.com.

The total project, including five phases proposed by the firms and non-phased elements, could cost between $2 million and $2.6 million. A new maintenance building, along with utility connections for the second phase, a roadway, retaining walls, blasting, demolition and clearing, would come in the first phase.

A new 70-by-40-foot storage and bathroom building would comprise the second phase.

Construction of parking and traffic circulation improvements – including sidewalks, a plaza, trees and plantings, new parking, a bus loop, and emergency access to Kelly Field – would come with phase three. The fourth would include surface regrading to create a gravel overflow parking lot adjacent to Old Brunswick Road, and stone dust pathways to Bath Middle School would follow in the fifth.

Stormwater treatment, as well as lighting for pathways, parking and access, are among non-phased items.

The new bathroom building and bus turnaround would stand in place of the buildings to be demolished, while the new maintenance building would be placed farther back in what is now a wooded area, according to Meyers.

Who pays for what is to be determined, Deci said last October, noting the city, RSU 1 – McMann’s primary user for games and practices – and private funding could all share that burden.

Improvements could occur as the new Morse High School is built across Congress Avenue, north of the Wing Farm business park, Deci said. Completion of that building is due the fall of 2020.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

A maintenance building and bathrooms at the Edward J. McMann Outdoor Athletic Complex on Congress Avenue in Bath, where improvements are being considered.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.