Photo by Natalie Adams
By Kirstin Nichols
As 2018 came to a close, Arundel High School was left deserted by teachers and students alike, resulting in a still and quiet building. That is, except for the renovations occurring on the “away” side of the football field.
Just as school was ending in December, work on the stadiums by TJ Distributors was beginning. According To Ms. Stickney, Arundel’s Business Manager and one of the three school contacts for the project, these renovations were no surprise. She said, “I actually had [Arundel’s bleachers] put on the list to get renovated five years ago. We were just waiting on funding.” Also leading this project was athletic director Coach Necessary, who says “the bleachers were becoming unsafe—they were old and did align with current code—it was just time to upgrade to ensure safety for all!”
Mark Snyder, the Senior Specialist of General Maintenance, says that the total cost to remove and replace the bleachers and concrete was $343,970.00, and the cost will not be increased by prolonged renovation time due to inclimate weather. “The way we do our plans and our design before we have a Contractor we usually don’t go over the budget number,” says Snyder. However if there are some unforeseen conditions we have money set aside for that.” Understanding the unpredictability of Maryland weather, the “weather sensitive” work was completed before the winter months.
Parking at Arundel’s G-hall lot was hardly affected by the construction; when the bleachers were being demolished, two parking spots were blocked off for the safety of the students and staff, but all other areas of the G-hall parking lot have continued operating normally throughout the construction process.
Exciting new changes include showing school pride by coloring the new bleachers the classic Arundel colors. “Aesthetically it will look nicer because the bleachers will match the home side,” says Stickney. Also, a backside will be added so that objects can’t fall through the bleachers, the base will be completely redone, and “it will be more [Americans with Disability Act] accessible for our visitors so they can actually be part of the crowd on the bleachers,” said Stickney. Necessary added that the bleachers “will be taller than the old bleachers and completely closed in.”
This upgrade is sure to enhance the experience of attending Arundel sporting events. “We will have the most seating capacity of any school in the county and it will give our stadium a true ‘college feel.’ I think the entire community will be impressed with this major upgrade to our facility,”explained Necessary. Overall, everyone involved believes that Arundel’s stadium renovation will be worth the wait. As Stickney put it, the upgrade, “is definitely a positive change.”