Work at Drake Stadium on track for mid-May completion

Work on the $4.8 million project to re-work the seating and provide other modifications at Newnan High School’s Drake Stadium is ongoing and expected to be completed by mid-May. That was the word at the Feb. 14 meeting of the Coweta County Board of Education.

The current stadium seating arrangement will accommodate approximately 4,300 people in all, according to Georgia High School Association rules of estimating seating capacity. The new home stands will be slightly taller and longer, stretching to both end zones of the stadium’s football field. In all, the new home stand, coupled with visitor’s side seating, will accommodate slightly over 6,000 fans, which is required for home-hosting of football playoffs.

The new facility will also have more handicapped seating and restroom facilities and will replace the current concession stands, press box and dressing facilities.

School board members heard in a report on the work at Drake Stadium that all pier columns for the lower level bleachers are complete. Geo-fabric and surge stone have been placed on the lower level slope and the area is ready for installation of the lower-level bleachers. The bleachers are expected to arrive this week with installation likely to be completed by Feb. 20. The south retaining wall is complete and backfill in this area is near completion. The retaining wall on the north end of the bleachers is complete. The retaining wall between the lower and upper bleachers has been poured and backfilled.
Structural steel for the press box has been erected. The foundation walls for the buildings under the bleachers are being poured this week and construction of masonry walls for the elevator shaft will begin next week as will the installation of underground utilities behind the bleachers.

The project is on schedule for completion by mid-May.

Replacement of the home-side stands was approved by the Coweta County Board of Education last spring, after engineering reviews in early 2011 showed structural deterioration in the 45 year-old facility. Repairs to the structure last May allowed the high school to use the stands through the end of the 2011 football season.

Renovations and other modification work is also occurring at Newnan High School, White Oak Elementary School, Ruth Hill Elementary School and Western Elementary School.