January 14, 2008

State College Area School District
Office of Physical Plant
Ed Poprik, Director

To: Board of School Directors

From: Ed Poprik

RE: Memorial Field Project - Update

Date: January 14, 2008


During the meetings of 12/17/07, 10/8/07, 8/13/07 and 12/4/06, the Board of School Directors received various updates on Memorial Field relating to the condition of the West Side (Visitor) bleachers. At the most recent of these meetings, it was reported that short-term repair options were being pursued for this issue. As reported at that meeting, “The goal of these repairs would be to allow some additional time for long-term planning. An overall plan is needed for this facility, as the age and condition continue to create the need for a holistic renovation or some other course of action.”

As stated at previous meetings, while the bleachers themselves are in an advanced state of aging and approaching the end of their useful life, the immediacy of the current project is related to a failing retaining wall behind the bleacher assembly.

Based on subsequent work by the District Architect for Routine Projects and the Physical Plant Department, four options have been formulated for consideration. These options have conceptual budget estimates attached. It is important to note that these estimates are offered for general comparative purposes. They are not based on a fully designed project; therefore, they possess a high margin for error. Once a conceptual direction is established, and design efforts can be undertaken, a more sophisticated estimate and plan will be generated and shared with the Board prior to the issuance of bid documents.

The following chart is offered as an overview. More detailed descriptions and structural analysis of Options B and C are outlined in a letter from Hoffman Architecture.

Option A - Close the entire Visitor Bleacher Section
$0.00

Option B (Hoffman Option 1) - Close one section of bleachers and perform remedial work as required to the remaining bleachers $50,000 - $75,000

Option C (Hoffman Option 2) - Repair retaining wall and perform remedial work as required to maintain entire bleacher assembly $225,000 - $250,000

Option D - Replace entire wall and entire bleacher assembly
$2,000,000

Option A requires little explanation. This would be to close the entire Visitor side bleachers until such time as a holistic renovation plan is developed and executed. This would result in the loss of 1,815 seats.

Option B would be to close a single section of bleachers, on the southern most end of the Visitor side bleachers, where the wall movement is the most significant. No repair would be made to the retaining wall. Work would be required to separate this section of bleachers from the main bleacher assembly allowing it to remain independent in the event of further deterioration of the retaining wall. Additionally, testing and repair of the folded steel plating on the remainder of the bleacher assembly would be performed. This repair work is required due to rust progression on the underside of the plating. Option B would result in the loss of 282 seats. Drawing of Option B

Option C would be to repair the retaining wall and maintain all of the Visitor side bleacher assembly. A portion of the bleachers would be removed, the wall then repaired, the bleachers returned, and the entire assembly tested and repaired as required in Option B. All seating would be maintained in this option.

Option D has been discussed previously and would involve a complete renovation to the retaining wall and bleacher assembly. This option would likely require the district to either seek a reduction in the width of Fraser Street or reduce the seating capacity of these bleachers due to ADA and Code requirements.

The only long-term solution among these options is D, and the long-term nature of this solution is limited to the Visitor side bleachers alone. This would not be considered a long-term solution to the other issues present at Memorial Field. Among the issues that must be addressed at the Stadium are the following:

Immediate:
-Retaining wall at Visitor Bleacher
-Miscellaneous steel repair to Visitor Bleacher

Short term (2-5 years):
-Visitor bleacher assembly
-Fencing throughout the facility
-Certain stone retaining walls

Long term:
-Home bleacher assembly
-Press box
-Public restrooms
-Locker rooms
-ADA accessibility

Unknown:
-Stone retaining walls throughout

A review of these issues should yield the conclusion that none of the four options presented represent a complete solution to the many needs present at the stadium. Even a selection of Option D would leave enough issues unresolved to necessitate considerable investment in the near future. It seems that the choice between Options A through C relates primarily to investment in funds vs. stadium capacity, while the consideration of Option D begins to define the long-term footprint for the stadium.

In order to thoughtfully plan and implement all of the necessary repairs and upgrades to this facility, either as a single project or as a series of maintenance and repair efforts, a holistic plan is needed. Considering the effort and input required to plan a project of this magnitude, the Board must begin this process immediately or be faced with similar issues on a regular basis. This planning could be included as part of the update to the District Wide Facilities Master Plan, or engaged as an independent issue. If included as part of the holistic plan, some consideration should be given to fast track this portion of the planning or give it priority in some other manner.

About $200,000 remains from the funds allocated for the 2007 East Side (Home) bleacher project and these funds are being held to fund this project.

Action from the Board is needed within the next 2-4 weeks to allow design to begin on some form of a 2008 summer project. The CAC for Facilities, and the Athletic Director, have been provided with this information for review as well.