Officials plan for the bleachers to be ready for Friday.
By JOHN W. GOODWIN
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
LIBERTY -- The Liberty High School football team is scheduled to play its first home game of the season Friday, but school officials have some work to do before fans can take to the stands.
Chuck Cera, director of maintenance and grounds, told school board members Tuesday that some of the piers -- the concrete bases that hold support beams to the stadium -- were crumbling. The piers in question are on the home side of the stadium.
According to Cera, the home side of the stadium has about 100 piers. There are between 10 and 12 of the beams in questionable condition, he said, with four of those in one general corner.
Board members discussed several methods of addressing the problem before Friday's game including limiting seating away from the areas with bad piers, moving the game to a another location or shoring up the bad piers with temporary support.
Ultimately board members decided to give permission to shore up the bad piers with temporary support.
"I don't think we can afford not to put some concrete into this and shore these up," said board member Richard Malone.
Cera told board members that the shoring could be finished by Friday night game time. He said the estimated cost of the work is about $15,000.
Here's the concern
Board President Robert Lackey said the board will take a look at long-term repairs on the damaged piers in the near future, but safety, he said, is the primary concern.
"I would just as soon spend the money than to put someone in a stadium that is not safe," he said. "That is not the way this board has done business."
School officials are working on a contingency plan, should the shoring not be completed by Friday.
The board did express concern that the piers on the stadium would be crumbling after little more than six years of use. The stadium was built in 1999, and the bleachers came with a one-year warranty at that time.
Lackey said the board would revisit the initial building process and may have questions for the contractor who built the bleachers.
In other business, the board hired two teachers and appointed two assistant coaches.
Ashley Longbottom was hired as a special-education teacher at the middle school at a salary of $27,150.
Dana Walters was hired as an intervention assistant for the coming school year at $12.53 per hour. Walters was also appointed assistant volleyball coach at a salary of $1,425.
Board members also named Michael Morelli assistant soccer coach for boys. He will be paid $1,568.