FFCS grandstand and bleachers closed

FONDA – The Fonda-Fultonville Central School District’s grandstand for the athletic field has been closed, according to a news release from the district.

According to the release, the grandstand is not up to building code and is unsafe for occupants. The district’s insurance carrier, architect and attorney advised the district close the bleachers, the release said.

Eric Wilson, Fonda-Fultonville athletic coordinator, said the district plans to get some scaffolding set up for the usual activities that take place in the pressbox, such as running the scoreboard.

Wilson said the district plans to use the district’s portable bleachers to help replace the unavailable grandstand seating.

The closed bleachers could accomodate around 800 people. Wilson said he is not sure how many the temporary bleachers can seat. People may also bring lawn chairs or other seating arrangements, Wilson said.

Wilson said he was told by Superintendent Ray Colucciello the insurance company was concerned because the foundations of both the press box and grandstand had deteriorated badly over the last year.

In addition to keeping everyone safe, the big goal is making sure the football team does not lose a home game, Wilson joked.

Wilson said he is confident in the district’s plans to temporarily replace the press box and grandstand, and thinks the football team will be able to have all its home games at the field.

Grandstand seating was among the items on a $19.8 million capital project voted down by a slim margin in May. The project included items such as upgrading fire-alarm systems, adding climate control to classrooms, increasing computer bandwidth, repairing roofs and replacing grandstand seating. The district was expecting the state to pay for up to 90 percent of the project cost.

The district is eyeing Nov. 20, for a new capital project vote.

Colucciello and members of the FFCS Board of Education did not return calls for comment.