Hub City Central efforts focus on football stadium

Tina Mercer is the liaison between consultant and owner for the Hub City Central project for Jackson-Madison County Schools.

She brought an update on the project set to result in a renovation of Oman Arena and construction of a new football stadium for Jackson Central-Merry set to be done by Hal Crocker’s company.

She let the school board and education vision committee know in separate meetings in April that the project will not focus more on the football stadium than Oman Arena.

“In the past month, [Deputy Superintendent Ricky Catlett] and Jason Compton along with representatives from Crocker Construction and LRK [the architectural firm] visited stadiums at Huntingdon and Camden because they have the turf we’re looking at having,” Mercer said. “Their stadiums have had turf for about five years, so they got a look at the wear and tear after a few years of use in those places.”

Mercer said other trips to schools in Shelby County for the entire group were canceled, but Crocker did go to Collierville to get a look at their bleachers since that’s the same type of bleachers they’re looking into for JCM.

Mercer said the majority of work going into Oman will be mainly exterior work – a new roof, LED lighting on the building, new windows and work on the entrance facing west and the football stadium.

After a meeting with the athletic committee earlier in the month, Mercer said they’re in the brainstorming phase of discussions of what to do with the main entrance to Oman (facing east and Royal Street).

“When the football stadium isn’t in use, this will be where a lot of the traffic will flow through, so we’re looking at possible things we can do there,” Mercer said.

A few options she gave included flags displaying the district’s core values, a water feature and special lighting through the windows to spruce up the image for those walking in.

She said that could be part of phase two, which definitely includes a few projects inside the arena like restroom renovation, a new floor for the basketball court, jumbotron, catwalk, ADA updates on the concourse and a new fire prevention system.

Mercer also updated a situation connected to Oman in which a new stormwater drain will need to be installed from near the car wash on Lane Avenue that moves southwest toward Oman through the Early College High parking lot to Allen Avenue. She said Jackson Mayor Scott Conger has committed and been approved to use $2 million of grant funding the City has received from FEMA to fund that replacement.

Brandon Shields,