Lead paint found on the support structure at the Wellington Dukes football stadium has severely complicated plans to bring over and reuse North Olmsted’s old aluminum bleachers.
“When you add on to a structure that has lead paint on it, we could be exposing our volunteers to the lead,” said superintendent Dennis Mock. “Our insurance carrier has suggested we should not go in that direction.”
Mock said during a school board meeting Monday that the choice will boil down to sandblasting and repainting the existing structure for $85,000 or putting in an entirely new support structure for $150,000.
“That’s quite an expense to sandblast when you can buy bleachers for about $150,000 and not have the expense of renovating something that’s been there for 60 years or more,” he said. “When I called the insurance carrier, they were very worried about the lead paint considering the strict guidelines handed down by the Ohio EPA.”
The ground will have to be protected against lead contamination during any resurfacing or replacement of the structure.
“It’s probably more cost effective to just get new bleachers,” Mock said. “If the structure is removed, we probably won’t be able to use North Olmsted’s bleachers at the football stadium. A special fabric would be placed on the ground that would not allow any lead to seep through.”
School board member Lois Wulfhoop raised the possibility of renting Oberlin College’s football stadium until the best solution can determined. She said North Olmsted is employing a similar strategy in using Avon High School’s football field for the first two home games of the 2016 season.
Mock said Wellington would rent bleachers before it sacrificed any home football games.
“The board wants to make sure that we have home football games. If that means bringing in rented bleachers for a period of time, that’s the direction we’re going to go. There are four bleacher companies that we’re going to make calls to and get an idea of total cost for the bleachers and installation.”
It will take three to four weeks for bleachers to be brought in and installed once a decision is made, Mock said.
The clock is ticking, though, as about seven weeks remain until the Duke’s first scheduled home football game on Sep 23.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.
Jonathan Delozier | Wellington Enterprise Lead paint has been found on the Dukes stadium bleacher support structure. The decision must now be made to resurface it or to completely replace it.