Center Grove’s bleachers found structurally deficient

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GREENWOOD, Ind. (March 9, 2016) –The superintendent of Center Grove Schools has cancelled all the events at Ray Skillman Stadium after engineers found the bleachers structurally deficient.

Two engineering reports found multiple problems with both the home and away bleachers including rusted nuts and bolts, misaligned support beams and a poor foundation.

“I was really glad they had them checked out because it’s obviously a safety issue,” Center Grove parent Erika Armour, who has a son on the football team, said.

The school was not forced to close the stadium, but the superintendent, Dr. Richard Arkanoff, said he wanted to error on the side of safety.

“(There are) 400 kids jumping up and down on them and yelling and screaming and having a good time and we want to make sure it stays that way,” Arkanoff said. “So those were the things that went through our minds as we were looking over the report.”

Arkanoff is now tasked with finding a solution whether to repair or replace the bleachers and how to pay for it.

He said he is talking with possible sponsors, including IU Health which donated $650,000 to the school for a turf field.

If any work is done the school will have to add more than three times the amount of wheel chair accessible seats, Arkanoff said.

However, Armour, who has a son on the football team, said she just wants the stadium safe and ready for next football season.

“After this year, the state champions, you certainly hope that we can have some home games next year for the football players that are still there,” she said.

The superintendent plans to give a recommendation to the school board next week and on whether to repair or replace the bleachers.

The remaining home track meets for Center Grove this year will be held at the middle schools.

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