The Thomson City Council voted Thursday to approve variances on the football stadium property to allow for the installation of new bleachers and a press box.
The new, larger bleachers will create more seating at the Thomson High School stadium, but will be pushed closer to the property line. The stands will also sit higher to allow for dressing areas to be built underneath.
“As everyone knows, there’s been major improvements made to that field – concessions, restrooms, additional bleachers – and I guess it came time for them to concentrate on the home side,” said County Planning Director Fred Guerrant.
The press box, which at 45 feet already is higher than the 35-foot minimum height allowed by city ordinance, will rise to about 55 feet.
“It actually turns out to be an improvement in the flow of traffic behind the bleachers and maybe some buses that are coming behind the press box,” Guerrant said.
The request came before the Planning Commission Feb. 23. Guerrant said there were no opposing comments made to either his office or during the meeting. The commission voted to recommend asking the city to approve the variances.
Former Thomson Mayor Bob Knox Jr. spoke to county commissioners in favor of approval, adding that the new stadiums, with dressing areas under the bleachers, would ultimately be safer for the players than the current dressing facilities.
He said the improvements will help bring the stadium up to Georgia regulations for playoff games.
“This is the final step in the completion and redoing of our football stadium. So I think it’s a very positive thing,” he said.
In other business, council members voted to join county commissioners in approving a request for placement of a doublewide mobile home at the Thomson-McDuffie Airport.
Air Methods requested the facility in order to move emergency services operations from Augusta’s Daniel Field to Thomson.