City votes to get $75-million for big projects

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Big changes are coming to the Capital City.

The Montgomery city council voted to move forward on $75-million dollars from a bond issue and new line of credit.

One of the largest venues to benefit from the funds is Cramton Bowl.

"We're excited about what the plans are for Cramton Bowl," says Ken Blankenship, Director of the newly formed Central Alabama Sports Commission.

He can't wait to see millions of dollars materialize.

"This wall here which normally goes down Madison Avenue will be totally removed. And where we're standing here will become a plaza," he says referring to the Cramton Bowl entry off Madison Avenue.

The facility is more than 90 years old.

"It's important we understand it needs major renovation," he says.

It's home to local high school and college football and Blankenship says the more than $20-million dollar makeover from the bond issue brings it up to date and opens the door for Montgomery's sports future.

"It's gonna really get it to a very very special level where we'll be able to compete for the kind of events we want in this facility," adds Blankenship.

The stadium is getting a new press box, concessions concourse, and a modern look.

But that's only the beginning.  A new 90,000 square foot multi-purpose sportsplex is going right behind the football stadium.

"That facility will allow us to bring huge amateur sporting events in."

Also getting a piece of the bond money is an eastside connector from Taylor Road to Ray Thorington Road, a new police substation on West Fairview, and money for the city to buy redevelopment property.

"It's huge because these are projects that will last us for the next 10, 15, 20 years," says Montgomery Mayor, Todd Strange.

Also in the bond issue, $25-million dollars for a new Eastside High School.

The Montgomery Public School board hasn't agreed to the deal, but the Mayor expects negotiations to continue.

The Mayor says we should start seeing that money in July.

Construction at Cramton Bowl could begin in November.

© Copyright 2010 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.