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Rogers Stadium Phase 1 Under Way with Hopes to Be Ready for First Game

by and on July 05, 2018 5:00 AM

BELLEFONTE — Although work is a little behind schedule, Rogers Stadium should still be ready to go for the first game of the football season according to Aaron Barto, the director of the physical plant at Bellefonte Area School District.

Contractors began full demolition of the buildings and the site work for the new turf and bleachers last week. Barto said in a podcast with BASD public relations specialist Brit Milazzo released at the end of June that the aim is still for the first part of the project to be complete in time for the season.

“The original timeline was that we would be ready for the first game in September, and we are still shooting for that, even though we are a little behind based on the permitting and ordinance changes that go along with any project,” said Barto in the podcast. “The site contractors and the general contractors are working out a fine timeline.”

The project is broken up into two phases. The first phase will need to be complete before the first home game. The second phase is to be completed after the football season and done before the 2019 season.

Phase 1 of the project will include adding a synthetic turf for the new field with markings for football and soccer sewn in. As the seasons change, other sports’ markings can be added. Underneath the synthetic turf field will be a storm water management system.

Also for Phase 1, the existing bleachers will be torn down, with new bleachers installed to accommodate about 3,400 people. The new bleachers will be on one side of the stadium, which is close to the current occupancy on both sides of the stadium. There will also be a press box and new field lighting installed, with all LEDs. Phase 1 will also include the base paving for the track around the field.

Phase 2 will include the completion of the eight-lane track and the construction of two field houses, a concession stand and restroom facilities.

Barto said the upcoming season will be a challenge without the field houses for concession and restrooms.

“This year will obviously be a little bit of a challenge because we will have port-o-johns at the field itself and portable concessions. It will still be the same atmosphere; we will just have to deal with one year without many buildings,” said Barto.

Milazzo said that director of fiscal affairs Ken Bean reported that the estimated cost of the project remains at $7 million and that it has remained consistent. The district is getting $3 million in grants, and $3 million is money the school has saved over the years.

The district hopes to raise another $3 million in a capital campaign to add practice fields and a baseball field.

This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.

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