Rainy spring delays work on Round Lake High School stadium
Record rainfall this spring has delayed a $7 million project to update the athletic facilities at Round Lake High School, but officials say they still hope finish by mid-September.
The projects include extensive work at the football and soccer stadium, re-sodding of rocky practice fields, building new tennis courts and rehabbing the concession and athletic storage buildings.
The work is centered on the stadium, which has an uneven field and a track so worn that sections can be lifted off the ground.
Construction began after a groundbreaking ceremony in April, but the rain has made the field into something of a mud pit, according to Mark Vierck, Round Lake Area Unit School District 116's district's director of operations.
"We want to make sure this stadium lasts for years to come so we're making every effort to fully stabilize the field," Vierck said. "It's like building a house; you want to make sure you have a good foundation."
The project calls for nearly every existing structure to be leveled and replaced, including the bleachers, press box and fencing. The bleachers that surround the stadium were built in the 1960s and don't comply with the American with Disabilities Act. The stadium lighting was built in the 1980s and, like other parts of the stadium, needs near-constant repair, officials said.
One of the exceptions is the concession stand, which will be expanded.
District spokeswoman Heather Bennett said the construction management firm IHC Construction, which also worked on the large renovation of Round Lake High School in 2016, has been doing a great job keeping the project moving despite the weather challenges.
Bennett said the high school football and soccer teams will begin their fall seasons with a long stretch of road games.
"The district anticipated there would be a delay of some sort and made sure the first half or so of their seasons were away games," Bennett said.