Helms Athletic Complex improvements approved

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ROCHELLE — The bleachers currently at Helm’s Field that have supported thousands of fans throughout the years will soon be a thing of the past, as Flagg-Rochelle Community Park District commissioners approved demolition and a subsequent replacement set of bleachers.

The approval came Monday evening with the total costs for demolition of the home and visitor bleachers and replacements not to exceed $18,000. Superintendent of Parks and Facilities Don Elliott explained the original set of bleachers on the home side have a capacity of 2,200 people, originally built for use with the old Rochelle Township High School location. Elliott said the new bleachers on both sides of the field will have a capacity of about 250 to 300 people.

“The bleachers now do not meet code, they have a dry-rotted frame and the structures are rusty,” Elliott said.

Currently Rochelle Junior Tackle uses the field and the new bleachers will provide more than enough room for those games.

Elliott explained he has researched the different sized bleachers, but most will span about 30 feet in length.

“We have a number of options of bleachers. We could go eight row, 10 row, 15 row bleachers,” Elliott said. “We could do two sets of bleachers on each side of the 50-yard line or we could have one set of bleachers and go up higher. The combinations of those bleachers I have, the seating capacity I have is 274 people.”

The bid of $7,200 to demolish the bleachers came from Metal Recyclers. The company will also be responsible for the removal of the scrap metal after they are broken down.

The total cost of demolition and replacements, including shipping is $17,838. Elliott said there might be an option to pick up the bleachers to avoid the shipping charge of $3,550, but will be dependent on the manufacturer’s location. The park district’s maintenance staff will do the assembly.

“The RJT had a board meeting and they agreed to do cover the other $10,000 that we need for this,” Commissioner Mic Brooks said. “I think this is a win-win for the program, for the park district, the community and the neighborhood specifically.”


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