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More Structural Problems Are Discovered At Allen ISD's $60 Million Eagle Stadium

Allen ISD
Repairs could begin on Eagle Stadium in July.

Allen ISD says it wants Eagle Stadium's extensive cracking to be repaired in time for graduation next spring, the superintendent announced this afternoon. But more structural problems have been discovered.

Nelson Forensics found structural design shortcomings in seven areas at the $60 million stadium, includingretaining walls, concourse framing, the press box and the main scoreboard.

Nelson says there are inadequate concrete columns that support the press box and insufficient steel framing for the press box. The company also says connections at the base of the main scoreboard aren't strong enough, and that a retaining wall does not have adequate steel reinforcement.

“Their design does not meet building codes, particularly in high winds for the press box and scoreboard, and they must be fixed,” Ryan Chancey, a structural engineer with Nelson Forensics, said in a statement released by Allen ISD.

Crews could begin repairing the stadium in late July.

“We have an end goal in sight; we’d like to have our graduation in that facility in May of ’15,” Allen ISD superintendent Lance Hindt said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

“We’re going to fix the stadium,” Hindt told reporters. “Here in six months or in May of 2015 this is going to be a distant memory.”

Engineers found no problems with the concrete seating, the concrete pier foundations that support the stadium and the small scoreboard on the stadium’s north side. Engineers presented their findings to the Allen school board Monday in a closed-door meeting.

Allen ISDannounced in February it was temporarily shutting down the stadium after extensive cracks were found in the building’s concrete.

Pogue Construction and PBK have said they are working with the district to address the stadium issues.

“We will continue to work with Allen ISD and the parties involved to give the people of Allen the stadium they deserve,” Pogue said in a statement in April.

The district is still determining the costs of repairs. No agreement has yet been made with PBK and Pogue.

This spring’s graduation ceremonies were moved. The football team will play in Plano this fall.

Here's the report from Nelson Forensics:

Allen ISD Eagle Stadium Structural Problems -- Presentation Of Findings

About the stadium

Eagle Stadium opened in 2012 and earned national attention for its cost and fancy features. It seats 18,000 and includes a 38-foot wide high-definition video screen.

ESPN reported on the stadium when it opened:

It's not the biggest high school stadium in football-mad Texas, but Eagle Stadium is the grandest, with a spacious weight room for the players and practice areas for Allen High School's wrestling and golf teams. The school district decided to build it in a down economy, knowing full well it never will recoup the costs. It's a decision that local officials and team supporters defend, saying the stadium will serve as a community centerpiece and source of pride for years to come and will more than pay the costs of operating it.

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Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.