Engineers and the building department in the town of Greenwich, Conn., have come to a concerning conclusion: the bleachers at Greenwich High School were not built to code when they were installed 50 years ago.
Greenwich Time reports that following complaints from parents and school officials, the school’s director of facilities Dan Watson asked for the bleachers to be inspected. A report concluded that the bleachers could only support a 60-pound load per square foot — well below the 100-pound-per-square-foot figure required by building codes when the bleachers were first installed in the 1970s.
School superintendent Ralph Mayo made the decision to close the home bleachers following the inspection, which will necessitate shifting plans for athletics events and the school’s planned June graduation ceremony. The bleachers will remain closed until they can be brought up to code or replaced. “We realize this is an inconvenience for upcoming athletic and ceremonial events,” Mayo told Greenwich Time. “However, we will not compromise the safety of our staff, students, families or visitors to our schools.”
The school district is reportedly researching short-term repair options for the bleachers, but a proposal to replace them will be voted on by town representatives in May.
For now, the plan is to have all spectators — home and visitors — use bleachers located on the visitors’ side. Should it be necessary, the high school has other fields with spectator seating available, as well.