State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Memorial Field Wall Collapse Closes Fraser Street

by on July 01, 2013 2:30 PM

The toll from last week's flash flooding continues to mount. A section of Fraser Street is now closed to all traffic because of problems with the renovation work at Memorial Field. A wall that was supposed to be torn down as part of the reconstruction project collapsed suddenly as the area flooded.

And that means the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts will have to redesign the festival route. 

The collapsed wall was originally built in the 1930s, says Ed Poprik, Director of Physical Plant at the State College Area School District.

"Representatives of the Arts Festival met on site to review the situation.  It was determined that the safest path forward was to close Fraser Street until the area could be stabilized and/or the new wall constructed," Poprik says. "Rick Bryant from the Arts Festival is determining what the new festival route will be."

In April, the State College Area School Board of Directors approved the much-needed renovations at Memorial Field, and it is expected to be completed by the beginning of State High's football season. 

Construction crews began making renovations by replacing the bleachers, wall and fencing along the entire west side of the stadium, which runs along Fraser Street.

"It's a challenge to us," Bryant says, "But we'll muddle through. I hope the weather improves."

The Central Pennsylvania of the Arts runs from July 11-14, and festival organizers have been working tirelessly to get ready. 

"We try to plan well enough that we don't work around the clock, but it's busy in our office, I'll say that," Bryant says. 

In October 2012, Poprik gave a tour of Memorial Field. Check it out to see what's really going on in – and underneath – the field.

Currently there is a 2.3 million dollar renovation underway.

Earlier coverage of Memorial Field:

The Memorial Field Sinkhole Repair Job Hits One Surprise, But Sinkholes Here Are a Fact of Life.

School Board Approves $2.3 Million Bid for Memorial Field Bleacher Project.

Citing Safety Concerns, State College Closes East Bleachers in Memorial Field.

Opinions Diverge as School Board, Borough Council Discuss Memorial Field.

Column: State High Booster: Keep Memorial Field Downtown, but Build New Football Stadium Elsewhere

Laura Nichols is a news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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