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First-and-10 for Trojan Stadium renovations

July 21, 2005|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Trojan Stadium could be hosting football games and track meets for another half century, but how much the Chambersburg Area School District is willing to spend on renovating the complex still has to be decided.

The Chambersburg School Board voted unanimously Wednesday to maintain the stadium at the current high school, rather than including a stadium as part of a planned new high school. The 6,500-seat stadium, however, will be able to seat only about 3,800 this season as the district makes repairs to the visitors grandstands and demolishes the home stands.

The grandstands were declared unsafe in March when a floorboard cracked during a track meet. The district is spending $604,000 to repair the visitors side, which seats about 2,600 people, and put portable bleachers for 1,200 in the end zones.

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Buildings and Grounds Director Richard Bender said the seating is on track to be finished in time for the Homecoming game in October.

The board must decide what further renovations will be made to the stadium, he said.

After the stands were closed, coaches, the band director and booster club representatives put together a wish list of amenities they would like to see at the stadium, including artificial turf, an eight-lane track, locker rooms, bathrooms and concession areas.

Architects came up with a preliminary estimate of the cost of fulfilling all those requests that came to more than $6.6 million, Bender said.

Scraping and sealing the existing six-lane track would cost about $120,000, while an eight-lane track would cost about $1 million, according to Bender. An entirely new eight-lane track would cost about $450,000, but the cost of demolishing the old track and moving back the fences, lighting and seating to accommodate the two extra lanes escalates the cost, he said.

The board also must decide if the stadium will be a stand-alone facility, with its own locker rooms and bathrooms, or if the new design will incorporate those features into the high school. When the board voted last year on a $116 million building program, it also decided that the current high school would one day become a middle school and board member Renee Sharpe recommended that be considered when changes are planned for the building.

Sharpe also said there should be a forum to allow public input on planning for the stadium.

Bender said the sooner the board decides the better, so that planning can commence and the home stands can be replaced by the 2006 football season.

The board approved admission prices of $4 for general admission seating in the visitors grandstands this season and $2 for the end zone bleachers, standing room and seating on the hill where the home stands now sit.

"We're not all privy to the details of the of the options available to the school board ... but I think they made a reasonable and prudent decision," said district resident Jerry Flasher, who has two sons on the football team.

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