State College

State College Borough Council, school board to take action on Memorial Field construction project

Both the borough and school district will take actions Monday night on items that would move ahead the first phase of construction on Memorial Field.

Both entities offered updates to the Borough Council during a work session Friday on the west bleachers replacement project, as well as one to fix a sinkhole that closed a section of the east bleachers last fall.

The school board Monday will vote on whether to approve the low bid of $2.26 million for the bleacher project. That covers replacement of the west bleachers, retaining wall and fencing along Fraser Street, and makes the area handicap accessible.

The recommendation to the board includes rejections of alternate bids that would replace the concrete sidewalk along Fraser with brick, and a revised stormwater pipe configuration.

Ed Poprik, director of physical plant, said that, because the work includes replacing the entire sidewalk and curbing between the field and Fraser Street, the district requests a partial closing of Fraser between West Nittany Avenue and Sidney Friedman Park. One lane of traffic would remain open.

The closure would take place between April 15 and Aug. 23, except for the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts weekend in July.

“It might be closed the entire time,” Poprik said.

The council will vote on that street closure during its regular meeting Monday.

Borough Public Works Director Mark Whitfield added an update about the borough’s work to fix the sinkhole, which he hopes to complete by the end of April.

He said the borough should receive a newly built manhole for the project in two or three weeks. Excavation has been on hold until that time, to reduce the chances that dirt will refill the hole.

“We won’t know exactly what we’re going to get into, and how much unsuitable material we’ll have to excavate,” he said. “When we’re done with it, I hope not to have to revisit it in my lifetime.”

The work will include a reverse filter, which places large rocks at the bottom of the hole, gradually becoming smaller in size, with fine gravel at the top.