Preliminary renovations cost to Dafford Smith Stadium estimated at $2.7 million

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Photo courtesy WBRC

FAIRVIEW – In a press releases issued by Cullman County Schools superintendent Dr. Craig A. Ross, the structural assessment of the Dafford Smith Stadium, conducted by Advance Structural Design Inc., has returned a with an estimated renovation cost of $2.7 million.

“We appreciate the work that Mr. Jeff Hillman performed for us. Mr. Hillman is a registered professional engineer. In Mr. Hillman’s assessment of Dafford Smith Stadium he found areas with life-safety concern,” Dr. Ross stated.

Below is a complete breakdown of the recommended renovations, including cost, as provided by Dr. Ross.

Visitor Bleachers

The bleachers have two (2) distinct types of precast double-tee members. The oldest members have exposed river rock aggregate on the wearing surface (which could be due to deterioration).

As constructed, one of the stems of the double-tee bears on the concrete grade beam. The other stem bears on the flange of the adjacent double-tee. There is no anchorage (connection) of the double-tees to the grade beam, or the adjacent double-tee.

Soil from the embankment under the bleachers has washed onto the track. It appears that heavy rain continually erodes the embankment.

Two (2) double-tee members have failed on the northern end of the bleachers. It appears that the flange of the lower double-tee failed where it was supporting the upper double-tee, thereby causing the upper to rotate vertically.

There were numerous double-tee members that exhibited signs of impending failure—exposed reinforcing, cracks along the flange where adjacent members are supported, and, horizontal rotation due to soil pressure from the eroding embankment.

Home Bleachers

The home bleachers were constructed in the same manner as the visitor bleachers, where both old and new double-tee members are in place. The embankment to the south of the bleachers exhibits signs of severe erosion.

Similar to the visitor bleachers, it was evident that soil from the embankment has been eroding onto the track. It was evident that one of the grade beams, located beneath the press box, has experienced undermining associated with the erosion of the embankment.

There were numerous double-tee members that exhibited signs of impending failure—exposed reinforcing, cracks along the flange where adjacent members are supported, and, horizontal rotation due to soil pressure from the eroding embankment. There were a few double-tee members where connections had been made to adjacent members in an attempt to stop the horizontal movement of the double-tees. Most of the connections had failed or were not engaged.

Conclusions

Based on the observations listed above, it is my opinion that the home and visitor bleachers of Dafford Smith Stadium have experienced substantial deterioration, and in their current state, imposes considerable life-safety concerns. I recommend that both the home and visitor bleachers be closed until they can be adequately repaired.

Estimated Cost of fixing Fairview Stadium

The preliminary cost estimate for the bleacher removal and replacement for both home and visitor sides is $961,000 plus engineering and architectural fees of $90,000 for a total estimated cost of $1,051,000. This cost only fixes the bleachers. The press box, concession stand and restrooms are not included in this price. These facilities are also in desperate need of repair and need to be brought up to the International Building Codes. This estimated cost also does not address the track, which is in disrepair and will certainly not be useable after the removal and construction of the bleachers. The preliminary estimated cost of renovating the entire stadium is $2,700,000.

In the upcoming months the Cullman County Board of Education will work through the details of this situation. The Cullman County Board of Education is committed to working through this difficult situation and listening to all concerns of the community to ensure that they reach a conclusion that is best for Cullman County students. 

Please voice your thoughts and concerns by emailing Dr. Ross and the Board of Education at contactus@ccboe.org