The State College Area School District is looking at revamping Memorial Field’s support facilities at an estimated cost of about $13 million.
Located next to downtown State College, Memorial Field is historic. But, it’s also short on many of the features most high school athletic stadiums have.
Ed Poprik, the school district’s director of physical plant, notes the field doesn’t have locker rooms, is lacking when it comes to public restrooms and doesn’t have a permanent area to buy food.
“This project is going to remedy a lot of those ongoing shortfalls,” Poprik said.
Features of the project will include a walkway in the stadium connecting the east and west sides; more ADA accessibility; and new locker rooms.
“You know it’s just a lot of good things, I think, about the project, and it’s going to be a nice addition to the whole downtown ambiance," Poprik said.
The project includes tearing down the above-ground part of the neighboring district building, while keeping part of the historic foundation walls. That will make space for a patio for food sales and gathering at the ground level. The basement will be used for additional locker rooms, rest rooms and storage space.
The district is getting ready to put the project out for bid. With board approval, work could begin in late spring or early summer 2019.
The district is considering two timelines. One would stop work during the football seasons and would be done in spring 2021. A faster option would close the field for the fall 2019 season and would be finished in fall 2020. The shorter timeline could also mean savings.
The board will review both options when taking up the bids from contractors.