Augusta Liddic/The Daily TimesAn excavator takes down pieces of the Hutchison Stadium fieldhouse during demolition on Thursday morning.
Augusta Liddic/The Daily Times An excavator takes down pieces of the Hutchison Stadium fieldhouse during demolition on Thursday morning.
FARMINGTON — After nearly four years of discussion and increasing the scope of the project, crews started demolishing the fieldhouse at Hutchison Field Thursday to make way for a new $2.2 million facility.

Space was at a premium in the facility since Piedra Vista High School starting sharing the building on the Farmington High School grounds, Assistant Superintendent of Operations James Barfoot said.

"It grew from a remodel to an addition to a demolition and a new building," Barfoot said. "It took some time because we kept changing what we were going to do."

The new 11,524-square-foot building is nearly 4,000-square feet bigger than the last building. It will accommodate separate areas for each football team along with a larger weight room.

Each school will get a set of offices for its head and assistant coaches along with their athletic trainer and storage for equipment

Construction on the new building will begin soon with the goal of a September to October completion date.

Crews started with the south side of the building just after 9 a.m. with an excavator destroying the south wall.

Demolition was delayed so fiber-optic cables could be identified and removed to avoid an interruption in service, Barfoot said.

Farmington High Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Don Lorett said he was excited about the new facility.

"We're very pleased with the project and excited for what it'll bring to our student body for Farmington High and Piedra Vista as well," Lorett said. "It'll provide more training area for all the athletes on campus."

A room for watching game film will be part of the new building. A smaller locker room area with offices will be set aside for another sports team that has not yet been determined.

Junior Adrian Brown, who was taking photos of the demolition for the football team's website, said it was time for a new building.

"It was old but it served its purpose and did us good," Brown said. "I think it was time for a new building and we're happy to see it come.

Augusta Liddic/The Daily TimesDemolition on the Hutchison Stadium fieldhouse began Thursday morning. The three-day project will remove the current building
Augusta Liddic/The Daily Times Demolition on the Hutchison Stadium fieldhouse began Thursday morning. The three-day project will remove the current building to make way for a new building.
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The project initially started as part of the five-year master plan drawn up by the district in 2009 and became a reality following the passing of a $50 million bond in 2010.

Barfoot said when the project first started out as a remodel, the scope of the work was smaller. But as the committee was formed to discuss the project, the building plans became more ambitious. The original projected budget of $1.2 million was inadequate as the plans grew.

"At first, we were just going to remodel with some new lockers, paint and carpet. Maybe some new furniture and the roof needed work," Barfoot said. "Then we got everyone together and we decided it wasn't big enough. We went back to the board and asked for more money."

Barfoot said as time went on, the idea of building a new facility became a cost effective way to address the space problem.

The project ran into a small delay when the district had to bid the project twice. The first wave of bids in December were too high.

Changes in drywall, metal wall studs and the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems brought down the cost of the project.

Delays have pushed the original summer completion date into the beginning of football season.

Lorett said the school has already taken steps to handle the start of football season without use of the building.

"We certainly hope to (be in the new building) but construction projects take on their personality," Lorett said.

Joshua Kellogg may be reached at jkellogg@daily-times.com; 564-4627. Follow him on Twitter @jkelloggdt