STATE COLLEGE — Could State College Area School District's Memorial Field be down for the count this fall?
That's a real possibility, as a new renovation timeline may cause the closure of the field. School board members have recently learned that a streamlined plan for construction could save the district nearly $1 million; however, under this plan, fall sports teams would need to find a new field to play at this year.
That temporary location would be North Field, near the high school. That field is currently under construction, and wasn't designed for the crowd that football games typically bring in.
"We're asking the board to purchase some portable bleachers," said Ed Poprick, the district's Director of Physical Plant. He also mentioned the possibility of permanent bleachers.
Because renovation plans call for new bleachers at Memorial Field, another option would be to move those existing bleachers to North Field. Other North Field additions like a scoreboard and goalposts could cost the district a total of $200,000 to $575,000 for all the aforementioned work.
If the streamlined construction timeline is approved, the board would consider opening the field this year, but just for special games like homecoming or playoffs. But opening for just a few games would require a temporary scoreboard and PA system, costing the district $165,000. Additionally, the home side would be off-limits due to construction.
State College Area School District isn't the only local district upgrading their athletic facilities. Bellefonte Area School District's Rogers Stadium is in the midst of a $7 million renovation, expected to be completed for the 2019 football season. These improvements include new seating and turf, an eight-lane track, two new fieldhouses, new locker rooms, an additional concessions stand, relocated baseball fields and more.
Penns Valley Area School District is upgrading some of their athletic facilities as well, having recently completed a brand-new gymnasium.