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Decision on future of Rip Hewes stadium nears

While constructing a new football stadium has not been officially ruled out one is not likely at this time.
Published: Dec. 1, 2020 at 10:28 PM CST
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -Dothan Mayor Mark Saliba expects a decision soon on the future of Rip Hewes stadium.

“It’s going to be a big capital project,” he told WTVY Tuesday, when discussing pressing city issues.

While constructing a new football stadium has not been officially ruled out, the mayor, citing costs, previously indicated one is not likely at this time. Instead, commissioners are expected to opt for renovations of the current stadium.

Cost of those upgrades could reach $8.5 million but phasing in that work would soften the financial blow.

Rip Hewes is nearly 60 years old and has seen only a handful of upgrades.

“It’s time for action and I think we’ll do something in the next week or two,” Saliba said.

The mayor believes Dothan’s biggest issue heading into 2021 is also the nation’s tallest hurdle---moving beyond the pandemic.

“Getting that behind us will be huge. It’s been such a roadblock,” the mayor said. He is excited about the arrival of vaccines.

Expressing confidence in administrators and board, Saliba believes Dothan public schools will improve next year following the abrupt resignation of its superintendent in September.

He is also optimistic about several road projects either underway or planned in the city.

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