Work not finished, but Memorial Field rededication set for Friday in State College

mmorgan@centredaily.comOctober 11, 2013 

— Construction on Memorial Field isn’t completely finished, but it’s ready for its re-dedication ceremony Friday night.

Physical Plant Director Ed Poprik said that construction is about 70-80 percent completed with most of the remaining work encompassing the brick walkway on Fraser Street.

Though he would have liked to see a completed project by now, Poprik said it’s looking nice.

“Progress has been steady, but not as fast as we hoped for,” he said.

Originally, Poprik was hoping the construction would be finished in time for the ceremony, but the construction crew has faced challenges dating back to the early summer storms that derailed progress. He now expects all the work to be done by the middle of next month.

The approximately $3 million project includes a collection system under the field to route water to the sinkhole, a turf replacement, a brick walkway along Fraser Street, replacement of the west side retaining wall, fencing and bleachers, and a temporary bleacher near the sinkhole on the east side of the field.

Through the delays, Poprik said, the district hasn’t incurred any additional costs. He said he is hoping that stays true through the entire project.

Poprik said Friday’s ceremony at halftime of the State High football game against Central Dauphin East will be a good chance to highlight all the work so far.

“I think it’s looking good,” he said. “I think people can envision how nice this project’s going to be when it’s a complete.”

The ceremony will again dedicate the field to fallen veterans of all wars, and there will be free admission to anyone with a military ID card.

The district also will be rolling out its buy-a-brick campaign for the Fraser Street walkway, which is expected to bring more than $500,000 for future projects.

Poprik said that this is just phase one of the field improvements, with possible changes to the east side bleachers and locker rooms coming in the future.

There has been no timetable established for the other projects, and much will depend on a successful high school project referendum in May. Poprik said that a successful referendum would provide the district some extra flexibility when it comes to Memorial Field and other district buildings.

Matt Morgan can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter @MetroMattMorgan.

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