Grandstand repairs to start soon

Sean C. Morgan

Of The New Era

District 55 officials are hoping to have reconstruction of part of the Husky Field grandstands complete before track season starts in the spring.

Supt. Larry Horton said he anticipated starting demolition this week or next. The School District will handle the demolition, and then a contractor will take over the bulk of the construction work.

The project will go to bid sometime in the next couple of weeks, Horton said, and he expects work to be underway in December depending on we ather.

The work will replace the wooden landing with a concrete landing, including replacement of structural beams and a block face.

The board agreed to spend up to $90,000 on the project during its regular meeting earlier this month.

“Our architect and engineer inspected the grandstands three years ago, and we were told that major repairs were required to ensure the integrity of the grandstands,” Horton said. Some minor structural fixes were done to help us make it through until now.”

The district had the grandstands inspected again last spring and was told there were safety concerns that needed to be addressed this year.

“The main support beams have dry rot issues as does the main platform deck,” Horton said. “We once again made some repairs and did weekly inspections after each football game this fall to get us through, but we can no longer postpone the work.”

The repairs are mainly to areas that are not under cover and are exposed to the rain, Horton said. Using concrete and block, at an estimated cost of $90,000, instead of replacing the landing with wood, at an estimated cost of $85,000, nearly doubles the expected lifespan of the new landing.