$60 Million High School Stadium Closes Indefinitely Because of 'Cracking' Concrete
Less than two years after opening a $60 million multi-sport stadium, Allen High School in Texas has closed the facility indefinitely because of "extensive cracking" found "in the concrete of the stadium's concourse," school officials announced Thursday.
Sixty-three percent of voters in the school district, in a suburb of Dallas, approved a $119.4 million bond package back in May 2009 that included $59.6 million for the 18,000-seat stadium, according to The Dallas Morning News. It features a video scoreboard, a weight room, and a wrestling practice room, and it plays host to soccer, junior varsity, and varsity football games.
The district hired an engineering firm to conduct an investigation of the cracking in the concourse level, which confirmed "pervasive cracking in the concrete of the elevated concourse." The evaluation, which is roughly 10 percent complete, will likely run until at least June.
"Our number one priority must always be the safety of our students, staff and community," school board president Louise Master said in a statement. "We do not have information at this point that confirms any areas outside of the concourse could be affected, but the most prudent thing to do, to absolutely assure the safety of students, staff and the community is to keep the facility closed during this review."
The closure of the stadium is forcing the relocation of the district's high school graduation ceremonies. It is also likely to affect the high school football team's home games this coming fall, according to the district's release.
Upon the stadium's opening in August 2012, many Twitter users criticized its exorbitant cost, especially with many education budgets in dire straits. However, the bond referendum specified what the $119-plus million would be spent on, which prohibited the school from allocating money for the stadium to other school-related expenses.
As it turns out, $59.6 million might not have been enough.
Photo courtesy of the Allen School District.
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