Starting next school year, Greenwood Community High School fans will have new seating when they come to watch their favorite teams play.
The lower sections of bleachers in the main gymnasium are slated to be replaced after the 2017 graduation ceremony, with a price tag of nearly $158,000.
The bleachers are nearly three decades old and needed to be replaced because they have passed the point of being cost-effective to repair and maintain, assistant superintendent Todd Pritchett said.
“They’re just in need of a lot of overhaul and so forth,” Pritchett said. “It’s just time to replace them.”
The lower bleachers make up about half of the gym’s current capacity of 4,300. Updates to those bleachers, which could include a slight change in seat size or improvements in accessibility for disabled persons, could slightly lower the total number of seats, but Pritchett and Greenwood athletic director Rob Irwin said it’s unlikely the number will change by much.
Such large-scale overhauls are seldom necessary. The bleachers in Center Grove’s main gymnasium, for example, have required only small-scale fixes since the gym was built 21 years ago. Schools routinely inspect yearly for structural soundness, but bleachers are generally only replaced when maintenance and repairs become too costly. That has become the case in Greenwood.
The school district is paying for the project, which is being done by Irwin Seating, with money from the $43 million bond issue approved in 2015 for larger projects such as the construction of a new middle school, which is expected to be completed later this year, and the addition of a $4.8 million activity complex to the high school, which opened this week.
Other work is also planned for the high school. The floors in both the main and auxiliary gymnasiums are being refinished and repainted during spring break in March.
About $1.4 million in other improvements recently completed at the high school include replacing the lights, grandstand, ceiling and deck tiles at the pool, and new air conditioning and lighting in both gymnasiums.