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Stadium repairs authorized

April 28, 2005|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - There will be football at Chambersburg Area Senior High School's Trojan Stadium this fall and someplace for the fans to sit after the Buildings and Grounds Committee on Wednesday authorized the district to design and engineer repairs for the visitors grandstand and removal of the home bleachers.

"The reason we came up with this plan is we think we can get the visitors stands up to code," said Richard Bender, the district's director of buildings and grounds. The option gives the school board the opportunity to decide later whether Trojan Stadium will remain the district's primary sports complex or if a new one will be built alongside a new high school, something Bender said could take up to eight years.

Bender and the Mechanicsburg, Pa., architectural firm of Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates will have the specifications and bids ready for approval by the full board at its May 11 meeting.

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When a floorboard broke during a track meet last month, the district closed the grandstands. The home side is 50 years old and the visitors grandstand was built in 1961.

If the board decides a new stadium should be built at the new high school, "then you're still headed in the right direction," Bender said. The existing high school eventually will become a middle school and the repaired visitors stands should hold up another 30 to 40 years, he said.

"It should be money well spent and it takes care of our problems," Bender said.

The plan calls for the visitors section to get aluminum benches, risers and floorboards, fencing around the railings to prevent anyone from falling and wider aisles with handrails, according to Paul Taylor of Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates. That will reduce the seating, however, from about 2,650 to 2,500.

"Are we going to sell tickets as we normally do and have 3,000 or 4,000 people standing?" Athletic Director Don Folmar asked. "A lot of times, we get 6,000 people" for a football game, he said.

Removing the structurally unsound home grandstands also will remove more than 3,000 seats, but Taylor and Bender said the board might consider buying portable bleachers. Taylor said there is room on the home side to put in portable bleachers for up to 1,700 fans.

Taylor had a handout for the committee showing the cost for those between $170,000 and $187,000.

If the board decides not to go with portable bleachers, Bender said the hill on which the home stands sit could be used by fans.

"Getting all the approvals we need to do this isn't going to be easy," Bender said. Still, he said it is the most practical way to get the stadium ready for football season.

If the board approves the project, Taylor said bids could go out in June, construction might begin in July and it could be completed by late August or early September.

Bender said it might be a temporary solution the district has to live with for several years. School board members Thomas Orndorf, Lori Leedy and Fred Rice, all buildings and grounds committee members, said they want a new stadium at the new high school.

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