"When will those darn bleachers be ready to use again?" As a student here at Castle, the lack of bleachers really has changed the school year in more ways than one. Spirits are down and disappointment is mutual amongst students. "Its a bummer the bleachers won't be done in time for graduation," said a senior; "but it's not as bad as having all the football games away." My curiosity got to me and here is what I found out about the construction.
The demolition on the current bleachers should start around the week of February the fourteenth, 2005. The construction was supposed to start in the Summer of 2004, but the plans for the new bleachers had to be revised. The bleachers in place were deemed unsafe in the summer of 2004, and as a result the school decided to close them to prevent any unwanted injuries. The American Disability Act or ADA for short told the school that the bleachers were not ADA compliant. At the time of its construction, in the 1980's it did meet the guidelines. As the time changes, so must the bleachers.
The bleachers we have lack the needed handicap accessibility accommodations. In addition to that, the amount of seats we have isn't capable of holding our usual numbers for football games, soccer, graduation, and assemblies like May Day or Homecoming. With the new bleachers, we will meet ADA standards and have more seats for more of an audience.
Currently, there are four entrance/exits; three sets of stairs and one ramp. Also we have twelve rows of seating. The new bleachers will have four additional rows to make sixteen, and four to five entrance/exits. The new bleachers will eventually get a press box, but it will be a few more years before the school budget can allocate the funds. If you didn't know; Castle high school did have a press box on the bleachers, but it was toppled over by very strong Kona winds about two years ago.
The new bleachers will be built by IIDA Contractor, for a whopping two million dollars. The construction materials will be similar to that of which we have now; Aluminum structure reinforced by steel. There will also be two storage units below the new bleachers. Another change to the field will be a new score board. This is a separate project, so completion date is unknown.
"The completion of the new bleachers," according to Mr. Richard Haru, Athletic Director, "should better serve the school and community."
For those that are worried about access to the back parking lot, the contractor is planning on leaving a foot path between the gym and parking lot, but please remember that the fences put in place are for your safety. Students should be aware of the construction and should try to stay clear of the area as much as possible.
As you can see from the pictures below, the construction is finally underway. The actual demolition took less than two days. This speedy work has brought reassurance to hopeful students; "the bleachers will be done before next school year." More pictures will be posted as they become available.