PHOTOS: Dukes lose time-honored stadium

Photos by Jon Delozier | Wellington Enterprise

The end came quickly for the Wellington Dukes stadium. “I foresee the demolition date being in the very near future,” district treasurer Tina Gabler said Aug. 4 — and she was right. Without any trumpeting, Herk Excavating of Vermilion began tear-down Monday on Dickson Street, using huge machinery to rend the steel beams and hand-held saws to slice them into manageable sections. The two-to-three-day project cost $15,000.

A handful of onlookers gathered to watch the stadium come down, while several volunteers moved equipment and boards from the bleachers and press box. The stands were built in the 1940s and seating has been overhauled several times since then. An insurance inspector deemed the benches unsafe and unusable last October, shutting down the seating for part of the football season. Mold and water damage to the visitors locker room — the source of complaints from many a visiting opponent — led to its condemnation.

A plan to buy North Olmsted’s old bleachers was pursued as the Eagles are building a brand new stadium. Contractors there even offered to hand off the old materials at no cost, saving thousands of dollars. That plan fell through when lead was discovered in the support structure in late July.