Jack Brown Stadium’s new grandstand and press box are nearing completion.

Jamestown Parks and Recreation Director Doug Hogan said the estimated $383,000 project, which provides 405 improved seats and six spaces for wheelchairs, should be ready before summer after crews return to fix a manufacturing glitch.

Hogan said the project, which divides eight rows of seating into three rows of stadium chairs and five rows of back-supported aluminum bleacher seating, was constructed using the wrong manufacturer-supplied brackets rendering the first row of stadium chairs unusable.

The new seating north of the playing field and down the first-base line has stadium chairs lining the top three rows. Hogan said the first row -- with bleacher seating directly in front -- has roughly four inches of legroom because of the ill-supplied brackets.

Hogan said the fairly simple repairs will be made at no additional cost to the project by Minnesota-based Seating and Athletic Facility Enterprises, which was supplied the seats and brackets by Southern Bleacher Company of Texas.

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“So, in other words, you can’t use a whole row of chairs,” Hogan said. “Somewhere along the line ... the shop drawings, to the draftsman, to final approval … nobody recognized the fact the first five rows have the wrong brackets. So they’re going to come back and swap those out.”

Jack Brown Stadium's new section of grandstand includes 405 seats and six spaces for wheelchairs. Photo courtesy Jamestown Parks & Rec
Jack Brown Stadium's new section of grandstand includes 405 seats and six spaces for wheelchairs. Photo courtesy Jamestown Parks & Rec

A total of $175,000 has already been earmarked to pay for the project with the remaining cost to be offset by fundraising. The project received a $20,000 grant from Jamestown Tourism and an additional $10,000 from the University of Jamestown, while Hogan added Jamestown Parks and Rec has committed $145,000 to the project.

“The intent is to be able to raise the remaining amount through donations,” Hogan said. “There’s 144 chairs and we’ll be placing nameplates on chairs for those who wish to purchase a chair for $250. We’re also going to be putting in standing tables and will be selling those to businesses and individuals.”

The project’s cost was initially estimated at $225,000 last spring, but Hogan said a soil test indicated new fill material needed to be supplied to the site which increased costs, as well as an architectural rending and additional concrete work completed between the seating and the playing field fence.

The project was rendered by Fargo-based architectural firm Rhet Architecture and the bid was awarded to Hillerud Construction of Jamestown for $383,083.

“We decided if we’re going to do this, let’s put something nice out there,” Hogan said. “I think it turned out really well.”

The Jamestown Parks and Rec director is also pleased with the outcome of Jack Brown Stadium’s new press box, which measures 24 feet long by 8 feet wide.

Jack Brown Stadium's new press box measures 24 feet long, 8 feet wide and should fit 12 people comfortably, according to Jamestown Parks and Recreation Director Doug Hogan. Photo courtesy Jamestown Parks & Rec
Jack Brown Stadium's new press box measures 24 feet long, 8 feet wide and should fit 12 people comfortably, according to Jamestown Parks and Recreation Director Doug Hogan. Photo courtesy Jamestown Parks & Rec

“It’s about 15 feet shorter than the old one,” Hogan said. “But it’s 2 feet wider and we’ve been told that we should be able to fit 12 (people) comfortably in there. It’s really nice.”

The previous section of wooden seating and press box, built in the 1960s, had fallen into disrepair, according to Hogan. On windy days gusts would rock the former press box back and forth.

New dugouts recently installed at the stadium also blocked some of the view provided by the old seating.

“It’s different, obviously, but we kept everything as green as possible -- dark green,” said Hogan, referring to the stadium’s primary color. “The front of the bleachers, as well as the sides and the back railing, are all chainlink fencing, but we’re going to use mesh windscreens to cover that up so it’ll look similar to what we had there before.”

Jack Brown Stadium is scheduled to host the 2020 high school Class B state baseball tournament which is still tentatively slated to begin May 28. The North Dakota High School Activities Association has suspended all spring sports indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve purchased the mound and plate clay and stuff, assuming that at some point in time we’re going to be needing it,” Hogan said. “Things aren’t looking all that good right now.”

Kayaking the James

Kayaking the James River might become a more accessible option this summer.

Hogan said Jamestown Parks and Rec is currently working to secure funding for a pair of kayak slips to be located along the river in town. He said the initial plan places one slip each at Nickeus Park and Klaus Park.

“That’ll be another summer activity for area citizens,” Hogan said. “We received a grant from Jamestown Tourism for that and we’re also looking to get another (grant) from Garrison Diversion.”