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Project moving on to bid stage

January 09, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA.

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

Time is of the essence if the Chambersburg Area School District plans to have Trojan Stadium rebuilt by next football season and the Buildings and Grounds Committee this week will ask the school board to schedule a special meeting Feb. 22 to receive and award bids for the $5 million project.

"If we don't start, we won't get finished. We need all the days," Buildings and Grounds Director Richard Bender said Wednesday. "Our goal is to be substantially completed by Aug. 15."

Bender said construction on the stadium, which will feature an artificial turf field, needs to begin in March if that goal is to be met. The first event at the stadium is a junior varsity football game Sept. 4, he said.

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Renovating the stadium will cost $4.5 million to $5 million, an estimate that has been trimmed by $500,000 in recent weeks, Bender said.

"We just trimmed at the margins," Bender said.

When the project first was discussed, he said the district got input from coaches, boosters and band officials about what they wanted and then looked at what they actually needed.

"We do value engineering ... we start at the top and look where we can save money," Bender said.

The square footage on concession stands was cut to realize some savings, while still meeting code requirements, he said. Moving buildings closer to utility lines also created savings, because underground gas, water, sewer and electric lines require separate trenches, he said.

Some surfaces that could have been done in brick will instead be done in concrete and macadam, materials that are easier to install and maintain, Bender said. The surface of the new eight-lane track will be of the same material as the current track, which has proved durable well beyond its expected lifespan of seven to 10 years, he said.

A painted aluminum fence with brick pillars looks more expensive than chain link, but Bender said the costs are comparable. Even moving the pole vault from one end of the field to the other will save money, he said.

When completed, Trojan Stadium will seat 7,023 people in bleachers that are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Parking will be expanded from approximately 1,200 spaces to 1,404, Bender said. That required a variance from the borough; otherwise, the zoning ordinance would have required more than 2,000 parking spaces, he said.

That figure would have been based on the unlikely event of Chambersburg Area Senior High School having simultaneous events at the football field, gymnasium and auditorium, according to Bender.

There will be concession stands for both the home and visitor sides of the field, along with pressboxes and restrooms for each side, he said. The stadium is also getting new lighting, he said.

The cost of the new construction will be in addition to approximately $600,000 the district has spent to tear down the home grandstands, refit the visitors' stands and purchase portable bleachers that were used during the past football season, Bender said.

The bleachers were closed last March when a wooden floorboard broke during a track meet, prompting the board to authorize renovation of the stadium.

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