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Allen Eagle Stadium To Remain Closed For 2014 Season

ALLEN (CBSDFW.COM) -- Significant structural problems at Allen High School's $60 million Eagle Stadium will force the stadium to remain closed for the 2014 season, the district announced on Tuesday.

The decision came after a group of consultants hired by the district, Nelson Forensics, identified "design deficiencies" in the elevated concourse that fail to meet building codes. The deficiencies, which officials say cannot be fixed quickly, also reduce the safety and strength of the concourse.

The school will be forced to play all home games in neighboring Plano in 2014. Plano schools will also host two games that were previously scheduled to be played in Allen. As a result, those games will be played in Allen in 2015 as part of an 8-game home schedule.

The 19-month-old stadium was initially closed on Feb. 27 after a structural analysis revealed design and construction deficiencies, which were causing concrete to crack on the concourse. Officials were initially told that the concrete shrinkage was normal, but the cracks became more pervasive and grew in width.

After a detailed analysis revealed that engineering failures were likely to blame for the stadium's problems, Pogue Construction and PBK Architects Inc. offered to place $2 million into an escrow account to help fund the repairs and related costs cause by the stadium's closure. But a legal snarl between their insurance companies caused the firms to withdraw their escrow offer.

"We are hopeful that the offer of $1 million each by Pogue and PBK would have allowed us to begin a proper repair without the added cost and delay of lawsuit," said Allen Independent School District Superintendent Lance Hindt. "But we now have been informed by both companies that their insurance carriers refused to authorize the escrow payment."

The full extent of the damage will not be known until June, when Nelson completes its study and reports back to the district. Repair options are currently being analyzed to procure cost estimates for the repairs.

In the latest report by Nelson, engineers discovered areas where the design load demand "exceeds the code-permitted capacity by 10-20 percent at multiple locations, and by greater than 70 percent at isolated locations," according to the district.

"The deficiencies are outside of acceptable margins for error, and indicate conditions which will require repair/strengthening for the structure to be brought into conformance with the applicable building code," says the report.

The Allen Eagles are vying for a third straight state championship, but head football coach Tom Westerberg said the loss of Eagle Stadium will not affect the team's efforts.

"The stadium does not make the team, the players make the team," Westerberg said. "We began spring practice on May 5 and we look forward to Allen fans cheering for us at our 'home opener' on Sept. 5."

Allen will not issue season tickets for the 2014 season. Instead, all seating will be general admission. The 2014 season will be played as follows:

Date Opponent Site Time
8/29 Denton Guyer Univ. of N. Texas 7:30
9/5 Dutch Fork (S.C.) Plano (Kimbrough) 7:30
9/12 McKinney Boyd McKinney Boyd 7:30
9/18 Plano Plano (Clark) 7:00
9/26 FM Marcus FM Marcus 7:30
10/4 Lewisville Plano (Kimbrough) 1:00
10/10 Hebron Hebron 7:30
10/17 Open
10/24 Flower Mound Plano (Clark) 7:30
10/31 Plano West Plano (Clark) 7:30
11/7 Plano East Plano (Kimbrough) 7:30

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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