WETUMPKA, Ala. (WSFA) - If you’ve driven along the Highway 14 bypass in Wetumpka recently, you can’t help but notice the speed in which the new high school football stadium is going up. We noticed it too and decided who was behind it all. We didn’t have far to look.
Community leaders broke ground four months ago and from that time to today, the stadium has undergone a dramatic transformation. On any given day you’ll find more than 50 workers scurrying about on the bleachers, the field or the locker rooms.
When Sue Lauffer huddled with her team a few months ago, she sent out a clear plan of action; get it done and do it right.
“You have to lay down the law. This is the way it’s going to get done and this is how we’re doing to do it,” said Lauffer
Lauffer, as you can imagine, is among the few female construction superintendents in the industry. Although a veteran, building a high school stadium is a first.
“It was a challenge. It was a matter of studying all the details, what’s going to happen and how long everything takes,” she said.
”If you want a job done, you find a good woman to get it to and they will get it done,” said Wetumpka Mayor Jerry Willis.
Construction started in February and right off the bat Lauffer had to deal with 19 rainy days in a 30-day period. Still, she had no doubt they would get where they are now.
“I was really beginning to wonder, but what we did - it would rain during the week, so early on I had all the crews work Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” said Lauffer.
The entire project is worth around $7 million and there are early signs it’s already beginning to pay off for the city of Wetumpka. The property across from the stadium on the Highway 14 bypass could soon become retail.
“I had developers in here [Wednesday] from down in Florida,” said Willis.
In theory the stadium could be completed by Aug. 1, some 15 days ahead of the original deadline. Ahead of schedule, which means the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel is more than on the way.
When it’s all done you’ll find two press boxes, a VIP suite, two separate locker rooms and a new entrance in the sports complex leading to the football stadium.
Wetumpka High School will play its home games at the new stadium beginning this fall. Elmore County school leaders say the old football stadium will likely become a soccer complex.