Memorial Field Project Running Late but Should be Finished Soon
Renovation work at Memorial Field has proven to be a challenging undertaking. The home of the Little Lions athletic teams has been subjected to everything from floods to sinkholes.
The sinkhole problem has existed since the stadium was built in 1916. It got worse last fall resulting in a section of the east bleachers being removed and upgrades to the drainage system.
In April, construction crews began replacing bleacher seats, wall and fencing along the entire west side of the stadium. Fraser Street which runs alongside that west side had to be closed down.
The $2.3 million repair job was slated for completion at the end of August, in time for the start of the State College High School's football season.
However, in June, a wall that was supposed to be torn down, suddenly collapsed after torrential rain triggered flash flooding. That forced officials to re-route the layout for the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.
Ed Poprik, Director of Physical Plant at the State College Area School District tells StateCollege.com a number of factors have put the project behind schedule.
The most serious issue involved "unforeseen conditions" with the existing footing beneath the west bleachers. Poprik says, "When the footing was exposed it was found to be void of any reinforcement."
As a result, the footing had to be removed and plans for the new wall needed to be redesigned. According to Poprik, the additional work will not add any significant costs.
Work crews still have a few details left to finish. "The remaining work includes installation of curbing, concourse, sidewalk and associated fencing," says Poprik.
No specific date has been set for re-opening Fraser Street. However, Poprik says the road should be open by the new project completion date of November 15.