HIGH SCHOOLS TO GET NEW BLEACHERS STANDS SHOULD BE IN PLACE AT SIX FACILITIES BY NEXT FOOTBALL SEASON


Publication: CHARLESTON DAILY MAIL
Published: 10/03/2006
Page: 6A
Headline: HIGH SCHOOLS TO GET NEW BLEACHERS STANDS SHOULD BE IN PLACE AT SIX FACILITIES BY NEXT FOOTBALL SEASON
Byline: JESSICA M. KARMASEK

 


DAILY MAIL STAFF

Good news for high school football fans in Kanawha County: Those rickety, warped stadium bleachers you're sitting on this season soon will be replaced.


School officials say bleachers at six area high schools will be replaced later this school year - in plenty of time for next year's football season.


Those schools include George Washington High, Herbert Hoover High, Nitro High, Sissonville High, South Charleston High and St. Albans High.


Capital High uses University of Charleston's Laidley Field, so it will not receive an upgrade to existing bleachers, said Chuck Wilson, facilities director for the school system.


Wilson said the bleachers at Riverside High won't be replaced because they are fairly new and still in good condition.


Demolition of the old bleachers should begin Jan. 1. Currently, design work and site surveys are in progress, Wilson said.


"We want to wait until the season is over to start any type of demolition," he said.


Wilson said they hope to have all new bleachers in place by June, before football teams start practicing for the upcoming season.


"There might be a couple of things we'll have to finish up, but they should be functional by then," he said.


Sidewalks and changes to the fields' drainage systems also might be necessary, Wilson said.


The special school excess levy is being used to fund the bleacher upgrades.


In 2003, county residents narrowly renewed the school levy to supplement state and federal funds for public schools.


The levy revenue also is being used for additional teachers, custodians and renovations to school auditoriums.


Certain projects, under the levy, are to be funded and completed each school year, from 2004-2005 to 2008-2009.


Wilson said the bleachers at area elementary and middle schools also should be replaced.


The school levy would not fund those upgrades. The school system and individual school booster clubs would most likely have to raise such funds, he said.


"Structurally, the ones that remain, we try to repair and maintain them the best we can, but many don't meet the new codes on bleachers," Wilson said.


"Long term, we need to look at replacing them. It's a very expensive proposal, but it should be looked at."


Contact writer Jessica Karmasek at jessica@dailymail.com or 348-1796.