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Allen Eagle Stadium Photo courtesy of allenisd.org.

By Megan Lucas, BubbleLife Intern

In a press conference on Thursday, Allen ISD officials announced the closing of the Allen Eagle Stadium until at least June. The nearly $60 million facility will undergo a full evaluation and repairs after cracking was found in the concrete of its elevated concourse.

“We decided to close this facility during this examination out of an abundance of caution,” AISD Interim Superintendent Beth Nichols said. “Our number one priority must always be the safety of our students, our community and our staff.”

Because of the closure, Allen High School graduation, scheduled for June 6, will have to move. Also, next fall’s home football games will likely be affected. Allen High School senior Hope Bostrom said the she was disappointed by the development.

“I am disappointed graduation can’t be held in our stadium,” Bostrom said. “But honestly I’m so excited to graduate, it doesn’t matter where [it happens].”

Senior Kaitlyn Eymard said she was also upset graduation wouln’t be held in the stadium.

“It’s what I’ve looked forward to since the stadium opened,” Eymard said.

The stadium opened in August 2012, designed by PBK Architects and built by Pogue Construction. The cracks were first noticed right before the stadium opened. 

“The initial cracking was determined to just be normal shrinkage of concrete,” Nichols said. “As the time wore on, we noticed that they seemed to grow and get wider and more pervasive, which is why we ordered an independent review.”

Nelson Forensics, a national engineering and accounting firm, is conducting the investigation. The firm has completed 10 percent of its evaluation.

“We have hired experts to come in and review the issues and we make a pledge to make it right, and I think that both Pogue and PBK also wants to make it right and so that is our pledge,” Nichols said. “Things happen, but we are doing the best we can to get it resolved and get it resolved quickly.”

Ben Pogue, president and CEO of Pogue Construction, estimated that the cracks were a quarter of an inch to three quarters of an inch. He said the stadium would be fine long-term.

“I think that extreme measures are valid, but the stadium is going to be OK long term,” Pogue said. “To the taxpayers, you will have a wonderful product that will continue to generate sales and income and revenue and income for Allen. This is a roadblock, and as we go through life we have roadblocks.”

Pogue and PBK Architects are both also currently working on the district’s $36 million service center. An independent review of that facility is also underway.