Stadium Competition: Improvements at Dee intended to keep pace with Calumet Colosseum

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette The Houghton City Council approved funds Wednesday to remodel and modernize the showers at Dee Stadium, one of numerous upgrades made there over the past several years.

HOUGHTON — Improvements to Dee Stadium continue with upgrades to the showers.

The Houghton City Council Wednesday approved a contract for A-1 General Contracting for $198,500 for the work, which will include remodeling and modernizing the showers.

The bids were substantially lower than the first bids last summer, said City Manager Eric Waara. Even the new bid, which includes an additional $20,000 for engineering, is well over the original estimate of $125,000.

A Department of Natural Resources Passport Grant will cover $75,000 of the cost. The city had budgeted $50,000 for a match.

Of the remaining $93,500, $25,000 will come from remaining items in the Dee Stadium budget for contracted services and building improvements. The council approved making up the gap with $50,000 from the General Fund and $18,500 from the TV Franchise Fund.

“With all the basic work that we’ve been doing in that stadium the last few years, it’s come a long way,” Waara said. “This is going to put it over the hump.”

Mayor Pro Tem Robert Megowen said he wanted the Dee to keep improving, pointing to the improvements the Calumet Colosseum has made over the past five years.

“I would hate to have us go backwards, and I think this is forward motion for Dee Stadium,” he said.

Other upgrades in recent years have included the restrooms and locker rooms. Waara said the city would work on generating advertising revenue, which he said could bring in up to $30,000 a year for the city.

The council also approved repair bids for more than $400,000 of federal aid work on Bridge Street, Dodge Street and on west Sharon Avenue near Oak Grove Parkway.

Repair work to culverts under west Sharon will be handled in a separate project, Waara said.

The project was originally been scheduled to be bid in the fall. That was delayed due to the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association’s lockout of Operating Engineers 324, which stalled road projects across the state before the two sides reached a deal in late September.

Moyle Construction submitted the low bid at $408,245.45.