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Rogers Stadium construction behind schedule again

by on July 25, 2019 8:13 AM

BELLEFONTE — Last year, the Bellefonte Area High School football team waited until the last game of the season to play a home game at its new Rogers Stadium as phase one of construction took much longer than expected due to rainy weather last summer.

Now phase two of the project is lagging behind, and crews are rushing to get it completed as soon as possible.

At last month’s board meeting, Stezin said they were seven days behind schedule, and now they are an additional six days behind. He said the goal is to complete the project for the event on Aug. 12.

Phase two was scheduled to take 13 weeks. Construction started on May 29, and it includes the construction of six new buildings that will support the stadium. It includes a home team field house with a men’s restroom and primary concession, visitor’s field house, women’s restroom, secondary concession stand and two ticket booths.

At the July 16 school board meeting Stezin reported that all buildings were under roof with metal roofing and soffits and fascia set to be in place in the next few days.

Construction was originally scheduled to be completed on July 26, and Stezin said he is pushing the workers to get the project back on track by working weekends and overtime.

“As far as the schedule goes, I have asked them to continue to work weekends and extended hours and they are doing that to the best of their ability,” said Stezin. “Manpower is very tight. This time of year everybody is busy, so not a lot guys are willing to come in on the weekend. But, I have asked them to do that. They are making the effort. They were here the last two Saturdays working, and I know they are working extended hours throughout the week.”

Stezin said a primary problem is that the plumber has not had enough workers at the site to complete the job on time.

“There have been a lot of issues. Number one is the plumber. They have a huge amount of work. They are low on manpower,” he said. “I have asked continually that they have more men out there on site. I get an extra man every other day, but they have a huge amount of work.”

Stezin said that they are also slowed because some other work must be completed before they can finish certain parts of their job.

“I am still going to push them and keep my fingers crossed that we can make this happen,” said Stezin. He later said, “The 12th, 13th and 14th, they want to use that field up there for some community activity. I have asked them to concentrate on getting the plaza area completed, as well as the concessions. It probably won’t be fully functional, and it probably won’t be inspected at that point, but it should be open enough that you should be able to serve refreshment from that area and have the field availability to get in and out of there. That is the goal at this point.”

Stezin said the contract has not been extended and that a contractor could be responsible for damages caused by the potential delay.

The school board also questioned why there is a proposed $106,000 change order for water and sewer. Stezin said neither the contractor nor the plumber included the work in their bid and he decided to get the proposal in order to have the work completed as soon as possible.

Stezin said it is vague on who should be responsible for the sewer and water between the plumber and the general contractor.

“I am leaning toward the plumbing contractor and I am asking the designers issue a letter that states their position on this so I that can present that to Hazel (plumber Joseph C. Hazel Inc.) and say, ‘how are we going to handle this? Whether you are going to help pay for this or pay for the whole thing, how is thing going to work?’ It is going to be a little bit of an issue, a little bit of a fight, but I am going to work to see that we get it taken care of, “ said Stezin.

Board chair Jon Guizar said they may need a special meeting if they need to approve the change order. He said it would be prudent to talk to the school solicitor about the matter.

“We could potentially need to approve a possible $100,000 change order because something missed in the scope,” said Guizar. “Do you know if they consulted with the solicitor on where that is supposed to be in the scope and whose responsibility it is? We really need to make sure we got everything lined up there because if we are authorizing a different contractor to do work that should have been in somebody else’s scope, and it turn out to be clearly that way, it could be a mess.”


Vincent Corso is writer for Town&Gown and the Centre County Gazette.
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