Sulphur High Stadium tour reveals wear, tear and rust - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Sulphur High Stadium tour reveals wear, tear and rust

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SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) -

Calcasieu School Board members from Sulphur say they will not put the proposal for a new stadium back on the election ballot until it's clear the public wants them to do so.

The Sulphur High stadium was built in the 30s or 40s. Repairs and renovations don't change the fact that it's 70 to 80 years old. Tour guide, School Board Member Joe Andrepont, shows the rust underneath.

"There's a difference between a want and a need and we put this on the ballot because definitely at this stadium, there's a true need. Look to the top, you can see this structural steel actually has existed since the 1940s, late 1940s, and then it was added on in the fifties and then added on again in the sixties," said Andrepont.

Risk managers say it's safe, at least right now.

"But at some point, we're going to have to question how structurally sound will this stadium become," said Andrepont.

The floor and steps of the bleachers are wood and the wood has no doubt seen better days.  Andrepont said every time he attends a game, a senior citizen asks for hand railings and it's easy to see why. 

"Every Friday night, I'll be approached by some senior citizen walking up saying, 'when are we going to get hand rails?' And all three board members, we heard them loud and clear. And that was a big part of the stadium with the need," said Andrepont.

Also on the home side, there's a press box that's nearly an antique. 

"You can actually feel it sway when the wind blows. You can see we don't have any windows, we have sliding louver doors on the press box and when we've got bad weather, and it's heavy rain, rain actually comes inside the press box," explained Andrepont.

Andrepont said they've been conservative with public money. That's why they did not plan to include Astroturf even though some want it. It's too expensive.

The timetable to  demolish the old and build a new stadium had been coordinated with football season in mind. But now it's back to the drawing board. If and when voters approve construction of a new stadium, they will try to come up with a plan for building it that minimizes interference with football games.

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