After being closed for months during work on the Memorial Field bleacher project, one lane of Fraser Street is expected to be open Thursday, said Ed Poprik, State College Area School District physical plant director.
The projected completion dates have been delayed several times, starting in the early part of the summer due to the large amount of rain. It’s a project that has given Poprik some headaches, but he said he’s relieved it’s coming close to completion.
“I think at the end of the day it’s a very handsome project,” he said. “I think when all of the construction stuff moves out, people will really be impressed.”
The nearly $3 million cost for the project included west side bleacher renovations, a temporary bleacher for the east side near a sinkhole that opened last summer, turf replacement, a drainage system to route water underground and a brick walkway on Fraser Street.
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The district didn’t incur any additional costs because of construction delays.
The brick walkway initially will go in blank, but the district is running a buy-a-brick campaign to raise funding for additional projects, and workers will replace the blank bricks with the inscribed ones later.
Projects in the works include renovation of the east bleachers and press box and addressing the locker room and restroom situations. Poprik doesn’t know how quickly they will able to complete the other phases, and it will be somewhat dependent on the money raised from the brick campaign.
“Some of the speed of the rest of the project may hinge on how that campaign goes,” he said.
Though he has been displeased with the slow pace of the project, he said it’s a small victory that the district was able to successfully seat people in the bleachers for all the football games and not have to cancel or postpone any.
The planning and funding dedicated to the high school project also likely will take priority over Memorial Field for the time being, Poprik added.
He’s hoping all the equipment will be out and both lanes of the street will be open by the end of next week.