How Embarrassing

Extensive cracks force Allen ISD to shut down $60 million pigskin palace

Extensive cracks force Allen ISD to close $60 million pigskin palace

Austin photo: News_Allen High School_Stadium
Less than two years after it opened, Allen Eagle Stadium has been shut down for evaluation and repairs. Photo courtesy of Allen ISD

When Allen Eagle Stadium opened to great fanfare in 2012, no one guessed the $60 million pigskin palace would close abruptly less than two years later.

In a February 27 statement, the district said it shuttered the football stadium "for a full evaluation and repairs after extensive cracking was found in the concrete of the stadium's concourse." All activities at the stadium have been suspended indefinitely "out of an abundance of caution."

"Our number one priority must always be the safety of our students, staff and community," said school board president Louise Master. "We do not have information at this point that confirms any areas outside of the concourse could be affected, but the most prudent thing to do, to absolutely assure the safety of students, staff and the community, is to keep the facility closed during this review."

The 18,000-seat stadium was funded as part of a $119 million bond package. It hosted a number of school activities and was slated to hold Allen High School's graduation in June. Those plans are now being revised as district officials investigate the extent of the damage. AISD expects the facility to remain closed through the scheduled graduation on June 6 and perhaps longer.

Nelson Forensics, an engineering firm, has already begun examining the stadium, and its preliminary review confirmed "pervasive cracking in the concrete of the elevated concourse." Nelson needs time to complete a full structural evaluation before recommending appropriate repairs.

The stadium was designed by PBK Architects and built by Pogue Construction. The district said both have been notified and are involved in discussion about the issues.

PBK Architects and Pogue Construction are currently involved in another massive building project for Allen ISD — a nearly $40 million bus barn project that has already raised community concerns. "An independent review of that project is underway, and any potential issues can be identified and addressed if necessary," the statement read.