UNION COUNTY — An open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held this Friday at the Union County Stadium Field House.
The open house will be from 4:30-5:30 p.m. to give the public a look at the newly constructed field house at the stadium. Light refreshments will be served and the public is welcome to tour the facility during that time. A ribbon-cutting ceremony formally opening the facility will be held at 6:50 p.m. just before the Yellow Jackets take on Mid-Carolina at 7 p.m.
The construction of the new field house was part of the first phase of the ongoing three-phase $1.3 million stadium improvement project.
The project is being funded by Union County which is paying the $1.3 million cost upfront. The Union County School District will pay $130,000 a year to the county for five years or 50 percent of the project cost. The City of Union is providing up to $150,000 in infrastructure upgrades including water, sewer, gas, and electricity.
The project is designed to address the most pressing needs of the half-century old stadium including the construction of the new field house. Those other needs include:
• Addressing safety issues.
• Addressing accessibility issues to bring the stadium closer into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The stadium was built in the 1960s and an engineering study reached the following conclusions about the facility:
• It does not comply with all aspects of the current 2006 IBC Code.
• It does not comply with the Americans for Disability Act or current ANSI regulations.
• Construction types required for the Department of Education does not comply in all buildings.
• Restroom facilities currently on site do not meet the fixture counts required by the Department of Education for a stadium facility.
• As stated in the structural evaluation additional testing needs to be conducted on the home bleachers to assure the foundation supporting of the double tee bleachers has no structural issues due to water collection under the stands.
The report also states that the stands on the south end of the baseball field are not safe for spectator use and need to be demolished.
Phase I of the project has been completed including the construction of the field house, accessibility improvements on the home stands including improved steps and new railing, a new handicap accessible area, a new concession building with ADA bathrooms, upgrades to the press box, and new paint.
Phase II of the project is scheduled to begin following the end of football season and will include new ticket booths, new fencing, and additional improvements.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.