Cracks force closure of Allen's $60M Eagle Stadium

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by DAVID SCHECHTER and Associated Press reports

WFAA and Associated Press

Posted on February 27, 2014 at 6:07 PM

ALLEN, Texas — A North Texas school district is indefinitely closing its $60 million football stadium after cracks were found in the building's concrete.

The Allen Independent School District said Thursday that Eagle Stadium would stay closed until at least June and possibly into the upcoming school year and football season.

Eagle Stadium opened two years ago amid heavy fanfare and national attention for its price tag and splashy facilities. It seats 18,000 and sports a high-definition video screen 38 feet wide.

District officials said Thursday that the facility will be evaluated after cracks were found in the concrete of the stadium concourse.

"Until the evaluation is complete and repairs are made, the facility will remain closed for student classes, activities and public use," wrote Allen Interim Superintendent Beth Nicholas in a letter to parents. "Daily class activities were relocated away from the facility beginning today."

The school district says it first noticed the cracks before the stadium even opened. The cracks have continued to deepen. For now, it appears they are isolated to the concourse area.

Nicholas said they are working with the architect, PBK, and the district's long-time general contractor, Pogue Construction, to find a solution. However she said the district was "frustrated" with the problem on the district's high-dollar stadium.

An independent engineering firm is about 10 percent into investigating the extent of the cracking. That full report won't be done until June.

The closure will force graduation ceremonies to be moved and possibly some home football games this fall.

"The district will communicate with parents and make decisions regarding the location of graduation ceremonies in time to make sure we do not overly inconvenience our families," Nichols said in the letter.

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