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

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

by on March 19, 2013 1:43 AM

Little Lion fans will finally have a place to sit -- the west bleacher section at Memorial Field should be repaired in time for the 2013 football season.  A construction firm has been selected for The Memorial Field West Bleacher Replacement Project. Mid-State Construction's $2,347,087 bid was approved at last night's School board meeting.

The project was approved by the State College Area Board of Directors by an 8-1 vote. Construction crews will replace the bleachers, wall and fencing along the entire west side of the stadium which runs along Fraser Street. Once completed there will be added seating and better access to the seating areas.

The concrete sidewalk along Fraser Street will be replaced with a brick sidewalk. State College Area Director of Physical Plant, Ed Poprik, said the bricks may be sold and buyers can have them engraved, which will add revenue.

The second installment, at $89,650, was also approved, and it offers a second drainage pipe from Fraser Street to the sinkhole. Poprik said the new design moves water to the sinkhole more quickly. Flooding had become a problem in the stadium because of the lack of drainage. 

Construction will take place during the spring and summer months with a projected, substantial completion date scheduled for Aug. 23, district officials said. Once renovations are completed, the bleachers can be fully reopened for use for the first time since 2008, when a section was closed for safety reasons. Once the bleacher renovation is completed, the artificial surface is expected to be replaced as well.

The field and west bleachers are expected to be open in time for the beginning of the fall sports season.

The project does not include turf replacement, Poprik said. It was once on the table but won't be back until a later time. 

Memorial Field has been a topic at the forefront of board discussion since the fall, when a sinkhole – that had been underneath the Memorial Field property for a century – forced closure of the east side bleachers. Home football games were played on a game-by-game basis, but the need for necessary repairs became more critical as the months went on. 

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

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