Bleacher Report

The+bleachers+are+still+under+construction%2C+but+the+project+should+be+complete+by+mid-June.+

Karin Ellefson

The bleachers are still under construction, but the project should be complete by mid-June.

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Mounds of dirt. Orange fences. Construction equipment. What’s up with the CNS stadium?

Students, athletes, and community members were devastated when they heard the news that the high school wouldn’t be able to use the stadium for half of the football games this past fall. People were questioning left and right, but no one really knew the full answer as to why we were having construction done. Joe McGough, the building and ground manager for Eastern Carver County schools, was able to explain the problem that occurred.

“The bleachers are built on a severe slope with a large area of concrete plaza at the upper side,” McGough said. “Movement of the concrete plaza surfaces at the edge of the plaza abutting the top of the bleachers occurred due to settlement, failures in the storm water drainage system and loss of sub-grade base material from erosion. This resulted in severe erosion of soils under the bleachers and undermining of the concrete plaza at the edge by the bleachers. In addition, some of the concrete support piers for the bleacher system were exposed by gullies.”

According to McGough, completion on the project isn’t expected to be done until mid-June. The work on the plaza and home-side bleachers was halted when new sub-grade drainage systems were put in and completed, but will start up again once weather conditions permit.

Now, how is this going to affect spring sports? Chris Schriever, a psychology teacher and the head girls track coach, said that he doesn’t think the construction will have much impact on practices.

Although the different track events will still be able to practice on their own turf, “We have decided not to hold any home meets until all of the construction is done,” Schriever said.

Because of the construction, all scheduled home games during the first part of the season were moved to away games. Joe Coenen, assistant football coach and math teacher, said though it was a hassle to switch and move around, the boys didn’t let it affect the way that they played or their attitudes during the game.

“We had pulled together player and parent groups and worked with coaches and other user groups to design and plan how to use our stadium and bleachers. However, this created a lot of anxiety and frustration from many of our families and community,” Austin Tollerson, the Chanhassen High School Athletic Director, said.

Overall, many people responded well, helped problem solve and communicate though this frustrating situation.

Though the scheduled home football games got moved, girls and boys soccer was still able to play on the Storm turf in the beginning of the school year.

“We didn’t have any problems with playing home games because the fans were able to fit on the visitor’s side and for the most part, it didn’t make that much of a difference. It was just a hassle to run all the way around to get to the press box,” Ali Muffinbier (12), a member of the varsity soccer team for the past two years, said.

Having used the scoreboard and press box, along with the visitor side bleachers this past fall, they will again be available for use and spectator seating needs during sporting events this coming spring.