Officials continue to move on stadium bleachers

PARKERSBURG -Officials are continuing to work toward the repair or overhaul of the bleachers at Parkersburg High School’s Stadium Field.

Sue Woodward, assistant superintendent of school services for Wood County Schools, said representatives from the PHS Stadium Committee met with Superintendent Pat Law before Christmas to discuss the issues.

Last month administrators started looking for a company to handle all the architectural and engineering needs for the county, with emphasis on the bleachers.

School officials have formed a six-member group, which includes the finance director, maintenance director, Woodward and members of the Stadium Committee, to review the expression of interest bids that have been received. Officials have received nine expression of interest bids.

Woodward said Stadium Committee members also requested approval to seek an engineering report on its own. The Stadium Committee is working with Pickering Associates to review the structure. Committee members have not been in contact with board officials since then, Woodward said. And officials do not have enough information to determine how to proceed next.

“This has a lot of steps,” Woodward said.

The stadium was shut down in November following an engineering report that said the bleachers were unsafe.

The report was based on an Oct. 25 visual inspection of the stadium, which found numerous areas where concrete was cracking and pulling away from the structure.

The grandstands were constructed in 1924 and a steel frame was added in the early 1990s. The concrete has been patched and repaired numerous times over the years.

Before any work can begin, the board of education will look at the plan and give approval.

“It is our facility,” Woodward said.

The stadium was built in 1923 by the incorporated Stadium Committee on land owned by the school board. According to the history of Stadium Field, from the Big Reds Factbook, the board turned over the land to the committee on a 99-year lease.