Engineering Firm To Study Barlow Stadium Repairs

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Potential Barlow stadium renovations range from replacing the field surface to erecting new bleachers. Photo Credit: Ken Liebeskind
Would artificial turf or natural grass be better for a new Barlow football field? An engineering firm hired to assess the situation will make a recommendation. Photo Credit: Ken Liebeskind
Barlow stadium bleachers are 30 years old and don't meet Americans with Disabilities Act codes, according to the Board of Education. Photo Credit: Ken Liebeskind

REDDING, Conn. – An engineering firm has been hired to study potential improvements to the Joel Barlow football stadium.

The Region 9 Board of Education selected Gale Associates, a Glastonbury firm, from among eight candidates to determine the specific improvements, from a new playing surface to bleacher repairs, that need to be made and what they would cost.

The board allocated $50,000 for stadium analysis but is spending less than $10,000 on Gale Associates' work, according to Chris Hocker, chairman of the board’s facilities and fields committee.

He said Gale Associates would provide specific information on stadium issues the board may not be aware of, such as how replacing the bleachers would satisfy Americans with Disabilities Act requirements and how much that would cost.

“They will provide alternatives to give us a range of options, from doing nothing to a complete stadium renovation,” Hocker said.

The repairs that will be considered include replacing the playing surface with artificial turf or natural grass, installing new lights and bleachers and repairing the parking lot, he said.

Gale Associates oversaw the resurfacing of the Barlow track four years ago, Hocker said.

Gale Associates is expected to notify the board about specific stadium repairs by the end of the year, Hocker said. Then it would start the design phase of the job.

Barlow stadium repairs have been sought by the board and citizens since 2000, when a major Barlow High School building project was launched.

“The project suffered from cost overruns, and field improvements were never done,” Hocker said. “They are needed now because the bleachers are 30 years old and don’t conform to current codes, the lights are 25 years old and the entire facility shows signs of wear and tear.”

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