Allen's Eagle Stadium: 'Additional shortcomings' found

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by JORDAN ARMSTRONG and JOBIN PANICKER

Bio | Email | Follow: @jobinpnews

WFAA

Posted on June 19, 2014 at 12:29 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 20 at 12:41 AM

ALLEN -- It is a stadium unlike any other, and even more so now, as it sits unused and locked up.

A report released Thursday by Nelson Forensics says its engineers have found "additional shortcomings" in the design of Allen ISD's $60 million Eagle Stadium.

“It’s an unfortunate situation, but fortunately, we continue to work together to resolve the problem,” said Allen ISD Superintendent Lance Hindt.

The school board had a closed-door briefing Monday night with the engineering firm it hired last year to investigate the stadium's structure.

It started with cracks on the concourse, which were first detected in September of 2012. In February 2014, it was determined the stadium had to be closed. Graduation ceremonies had to be moved to another location and the 2014 football schedule was rattled.

The Allen Independent School District is now using two different engineering firms to solve the problems.

The report from Nelson Forensics stated that more issues were discovered in major areas of the stadium, including in the concrete columns which support the press box and the steel framing of the press box.

There was also inadequate steel reinforcement of a retaining wall and weak connections between the main scoreboard and its base, the firm said.

"These are primarily engineering failures," said Ryan T. Chancey, structural engineer and executive director of operations at Nelson Forensics. "While the concourse is the largest and most serious area, we did find failures in the structural design throughout the stadium."

Superintendent Hindt said the district is working with Nelson Forensics and another firm, Datum Engineering, to ensure the stadium is fixed by next June. Work could begin as early as next month.

"As the full scope of the project emerges, we are now able to develop a repair plan that will address the design flaws and have the stadium back in operation by next June," Hindt said.

The original architect, PBK Architects, and contractor, Pogue Construction, who built the 18,000-seat stadium in 2012 are expected to foot the bill. Early estimates put the cost of repairs at $1 million.

“We have an issue with an architect and a contractor. I’m not going to speculate who is more responsible than the other... They can work that out,” Hindt said.

Pogue Construction hired its own engineer to review these findings.

“At first blush, everything we see here is exactly what we’ve seen and expected,” said Ben Pogue.

PBK released a statement Thursday afternoon.

"PBK has reviewed Nelson Forensics’ findings and continues to work closely and collaboratively with the Allen Independent School District and our other partners to achieve a solution to the problem at Eagle Stadium," the statement read. "[...]Together with the Allen ISD and our partners, we are addressing all aspects of this situation and will respond swiftly and diligently to implement the repairs to reopen Eagle Stadium as soon as possible."

Pogue and PBK will sit down in the next two weeks and likely hash out who is more responsible, likely no easy task.

“We’re going to base it on the amount of issues associated with each party,” Pogue said.

News 8 asked Pogue if there were incentives tied to completing the project early, and Pogue answered there were none. News 8 also asked if the timeline to complete the project was aggressive, Ben Pogue said it was an average timeline.

The district hopes to have the stadium reopened in time for graduation in summer 2015.

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