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Reconstruction at Jobko Stadium under way

BRIDGEPORT EXEMPTED Village School District Superintendent Brent Ripley looks over plans on Monday for revitalization work at Bill Jobko Stadium. Work began to prepare land where the nearly 100-year-old covered grandstands used to be so that permanent bleacher seating can be installed. The preparation work is expected to last for 2-3 weeks.

BROOKSIDE — Work has begun to revitalize Bill Jobko Stadium so that Bridgeport High School can have a home football field once again.

According to Bridgeport Exempted Village School District Superintendent Brent Ripley, crews from Jarvis, Downing and Emch, of Wheeling, started preparing a portion of land where the nearly 100-year-old covered grandstands used to sit. Once that portion of land is prepped, helical piers will be drilled into the ground. They will anchor permanent bleacher seating.

“The project has finally begun. It’s been a slow start due to COVID-19 and we had a couple of reports come back that we had to be more thorough with and plan out with our committee,” Ripley explained.

It’s estimated that the sire preparation work will take 2-3 weeks, according to Ripley.

Once the helical piers have been installed, crews will pour a concrete slab where the new bleachers will sit. Other work to be completed in this phase is pavement work, installation of new fencing around the facility and a drainage ditch.

The helical piers were deemed necessary in a geotechnical study conducted by SHP Architects and Engineers of Cincinnati.

“The study said there was ground water at approximately 13-foot below the surface. It said they also found clay, sand and gravel that was brown and with loose soils,” Ripley continued. “The soil was not what we want it to be so that is why the piers are being installed to support and stabilize the new bleachers for a very long time.

“The board of education was proactive and the report was not what we wanted, but it showed us what the facts were and in what direction we needed to go,” he said.

The board of education has come under fire from the public during the process.

“The concrete under the bleachers will make for easier cleanup following events,” Ripley noted. “We will also be able to power wash it with our own personnel instead of having to hire an outside firm. The fencing is galvanized steel with a vinyl coating on it, while the drainage ditch along the home sidelines will help to alleviate some of the issues with flooding.”

The total cost of the site preparation is $213,045.

Ripley said the bleacher work is scheduled to begin the week of Oct. 19.

“The new bleachers will seat 1,040 fans which will include a handicapped seating area,” Ripley added. Their cost was $510,000.

He also said a press box will be constructed and will include a new sound system. A camera platform will be atop the press box.

Fieldhouse improvements are are planned with handicapped accessible restrooms, public restrooms and new plumbing and fixtures.

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