New sta­dium planned

33-year-old dam­aged struc­ture to be torn down to make way for new fa­cil­ity

The Community Connection - - FRONT PAGE - By Evan Brandt ebrandt@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @PottstownNews on Twit­ter

COLE­BROOK­DALE » Fac­ing in­creas­ing costs and an un­cer­tain fu­ture in pur­su­ing re­pairs to the sta­dium at the high school, the Boyertown Area School Board will for­mally vote June 12 to tear down the 33-year-old sta­dium and build a new one.

The de­ci­sion was reached at a fa­cil­i­ties com­mit­tee meet­ing May 29 at which the re­sults of a study by To­masz Slowik, an en­gi­neer with Barry Isett & As­so­ciates Inc., con­cluded that struc­tural re­pairs to the sta­dium could top $2.5 mil­lion.

That es­ti­mate would not in­clude some of the other re­pairs needed and would also not in­clude im­prove­ments to make the sta­dium com­plaint with the Americans with Dis­abil­i­ties Act.

By con­trast, a new sta­dium could cost roughly the same amount of money, and in­clude up­grades and bet­ter ac­cess for the dis­abled.

Ques­tions about the struc­tural in­tegrity of the sta­dium were first raised of­fi­cially in a Jan­uary re­port by Isett that looked into wa­ter pen­e­tra­tion prob­lems at the sta­dium.

Fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the sta­dium’s prob­lems re­vealed only more se­vere and more ex­pen­sive is­sues.

As the in­ves­ti­ga­tion has gone on, the school board has been forced to first, move this year’s grad­u­a­tion to the San­tander Arena in Read­ing and, more re­cently make the de­ci­sion to set up tem­po­rary bleachers for home ath­letic events in the fall.

The pos­si­bil­ity that the sta­dium might have to be re­placed was first raised in a pre­sen­ta­tion made to the fa­cil­i­ties com­mit­tee on May 14.

It noted that the re­pair op­tion could cost be­tween $2.5 mil­lion and $3 mil­lion, would not in­clude any up­grades and suf­fers from “a high de­gree of un­cer­tainty.”

Re­plac­ing the sta­dium, on the other hand, would cost be­tween $2 mil­lion and $3 mil­lion and al­low for up­grades to bath­rooms, the press box, con­ces­sion stands, as well as make the sta­dium com­pli­ant with the dis­abil­i­ties act.

What­ever the cost ends up be­ing, res­i­dent Don­ald Fry is or­ga­niz­ing ef­forts to help pay for it.

“We were go­ing to or­ga­nize fundrais­ing re­gard­less of what the school board de­cided,” Fry said af­ter the meet­ing.

Pre­lim­i­nary plans are in the works for a com­mu­nity con­cert in the fall, and spon­sors have al­ready be­gun to step for­ward, he said.

“Our com­mu­nity has a real stake in that sta­dium and we want to pro­vide a way for peo­ple to take part in get­ting the project done,” Fry said.

Once plans are so­lid­i­fied, more de­tails will be forth­com­ing, he said.

DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA FILE PHOTO

The Boyertown School District plans to tear down the high school sta­dium and build a new one.

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