Centre County residents will have the chance to get a glimpse of Bellefonte Area School District’s newly renovated Rogers Stadium — a $7 million project that began in spring 2018.
The “Light up the Field” event will run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 12-14 and will mark the official opening of the stadium. The event is free to the public, and community members are welcome to walk around the facilities and see teams practicing on the fields, said Brit Milazzo, BASD public relations director, during a recent podcast. Live entertainment and refreshments will be provided.
“It’s going to be big, going to be fun,” Milazzo said.
With all work not yet complete, Reynolds Construction manager Dave Stezin said in the podcast that community members will only be permitted in the site’s larger concession areas because additional construction and inspections must be completed before public entry is approved by an inspector.
“When we go to do Light up the Night, we won’t want people in the facilities other than the bigger concession area,” Stezin said. “We’re going to kind of lock those down until we have permission to be in there using them ... the concession area, we will use to distribute drinks and food products from. We won’t be able to use it as far as cooking and refrigeration and all the nice entities.”
Stezin said all facilities and their amenities should be fully-functional by the Bellefonte Red Raiders’ first home game, scheduled for Aug. 23. Flooring, painting and lighting still need to be done before the project is completely finished.
“What is lacking is the finished part of everything, so the painting, the flooring, all the finished fixtures, light switches, lights and things of those nature,” Stezin said. “...In order to gain substantial completion, that all needs to be in place.”
Within “the next few weeks,” Stezin said work in order for the project to be substantially completed — meaning the district has “beneficial use of the facility” — will be completed.
The renovation project was funded by a $3 million grant, $3 million from the district and $1 million through capital campaign fundraising. The first phase of the project saw the installation of new bleachers, turf and paving for an eight-lane track. The second and final phase aims to address the stadium’s support structures and has taken place over the past two-and-a-half months.
The original substantial completion date was scheduled for July 26, but due to delays, work is estimated to be done by Aug. 12.
The BASD website and social media will reflect any changes to Light up the Field’s scheduled dates and times, Milazzo said.