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Hurricane repairs to the Charlotte Sports Park and stadium will be completed Jan. 26, and the county and the Tampa Bay Rays “are now prepping the facility for Spring Training next month,” said Caryn Huff, Wharton-Smith project executive.

Her company was hired to do the hurricane-insured repairs. “Whatever was there previously had to be put back ‘like for like’ in order for the insurance to cover the cost,” she said.

Damages to the park and stadium, which serves as the spring training facility for the Tampa Bay Rays, were extensive.

“The facility was damaged from one end to the other,” Huff said.

The work included new fencing and batter’s eyes at the practice fields; new roofing at the clubhouse, press tower and stadium seating bowl; new air conditioning units on several buildings; interior drywall and stucco repairs; interior and exterior painting; new shade structures; new stadium lighting; new wooden lockers throughout the clubhouse; and new signage.

Also, the wooden boardwalk had to be repaired in several areas due to trees that fell on it. Interior light fixtures, ceiling tiles and flooring needed to be replaced due to water damage.

The price tag for the above came to $17.6 million, Huff said.

Wharton-Smith was the sole contractor for the project, serving as construction manager, and multiple subcontractors were hired to perform the repairs, she said.

“Our first step was to perform an analysis of the existing conditions of the facility and provide detailed reports and an estimate of the damages. Our scope of work also included demolition of damaged areas, re-construction, water testing and air quality testing.”

Charlotte County awarded the contract to Wharton-Smith on Jan. 24, 2023.

“Through an extraordinary display of teamwork, our team worked together to complete this fast-track project in less than one year and under budget,” she said.

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