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Struthers’ Depression-era stadium coming down



Published: Thu, July 12, 2007 @ 12:00 a.m.

The demolition launches a four-year, four-phase plan.

By WILLIAM K. ALCORN

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

STRUTHERS — The east stands of Struthers High School Football Stadium had stood since the Great Depression but started coming down Wednesday.

The demolition is the beginning of Phase I of the stadium renovation project. The board of education awarded contracts totaling $285,603 for the first phase June 26.

The deadline for completing the project is Aug. 22 — two days before the first home football game.

Santini Builders of Washingtonville received a $140,700 contract to demolish the east stands and build new ones. Sturdisteel Co. of Hewitt, Texas, received a $134,833 contract to supply aluminum bleachers for the project.

Santini and Sturdisteel were low bidders. Brian Spielvogel of Eckles Architecture’s Canfield office recommended the board accept their bids.

The demolition launches a four-year, four-phase plan to finance the rebuilding of the football stadium.

Until the east stands, which are nearest the high school, are replaced, the west stands can be used, said schools Treasurer Michael Evanson.

A need for new stands

The 4,000-seat stadium renovation project became a reality after an engineering firm, ES&C International of Youngstown, inspected the facility and said that the concrete bleachers were unsafe and recommended that they no longer be used without extensive permanent repair.

The concrete stands were built in 1936 by the Works Progress Administration, later renamed the Work Projects Administration (WPA).

These were created during the Great Depression to provide employment in building public facilities and infrastructure, such as highways, streets, public buildings, airports, utilities, small dams, sewers, parks, city halls, public libraries, and recreational fields.

The Depression started in 1929 with the Stock Market crash, and ended in 1941 with U.S. entry into World War II.

The Save Our Stadium citizens committee, which has been working on building a multipurpose building at the stadium to house the home locker room, restrooms and concessions stands, had urged the board to renovate and/or replace the stadium’s concrete stands.

The stadium track will be closed to the public through Aug. 8 while demolition and construction are under way.

alcorn@vindy.com


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