Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Crump Stadium Demolition Costs Draw Concern

Posted By on Tue, Jul 11, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Crump Stadium was demolished last month, but the federal funds that the City thought were going to pay for it turned out to be unavailable, setting off a search for new funding.

Robert Lipscomb, the city’s chief financial officer, told City Council members Tuesday that there is nothing to worry about because another pot of money was available to pay the $975,000 bill. The construction of a sportsplex on the old stadium site behind Central High School is considered part of a general neighborhood improvement that includes demolition of the old Coach and Four motel and public housing projects on Lamar Avenue.

“We’re going to have a much, much better neighborhood,” he said.

The problem came up when the city thought it had cleared all the hurdles to demolish the historic stadium only to find preservationists Nancy Jane Baker of the Memphis Landmarks Commission and Herbert Harper of the state were not on board. By that time, however, demolition had already been scheduled so the rest of the project could move forward.

June West, head of Memphis Heritage, supported the demolition.

“The memories were in the ground and that was the most important thing,” she said.

Distinctive gates from the old stadium are to be reused in the sportsplex.

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