Repairs to Pate Stadium are underway and will be completed ahead of schedule.
“We expect to begin moving equipment out by the beginning of next week,” said Gary Roberson of Florence Concrete Products, the man responsible for overseeing the repairs.
Standing in the shadow of the stadium’s main stand Monday afternoon, Roberson said that the mending process will likely be completed at least a full week prior to Scotland High School’s first football game on August 17.
Roberson, whose company built the stadium in 1979 at a cost of $450,000, said that he was impressed with its construction.
“It was well built, and should have many more years left,” said Roberson, estimating that it could remain serviceable for another 30 years or more.
Damage to the stadium, which consisted of shifting in the concrete seating area, was first reported by workers building a new exterior concession stand adjacent to the stadium in June.
Asked what caused the stadium to shift, Roberson said that the stand’s proximity to the train tracks as well as to the highway could have contributed.
“It’s also possible that having good, boisterous attendance last year could have caused the movement,” Roberson said.
Repairs being made to the site include the installation of reinforcing brackets under the stand which will allow it to expand and contract as it needs to.
“This is something that is done regularly on (structures) built today, but not at the time.”
The importance of the repair project to the Scotland County community has not been lost on Roberson, who reported having an number of visitors to the site, including SHS Athletic Director Tommy Britt and school system Superintendent Rick Stout.
“It’s obviously something that matters to people around here,” Roberson said.
At a cost of $129,000, the repairs will be completed for less than that $130,000 budgeted by the county last month.
Immediately after the damage was discovered, some local parents questioned whether the repairs could have waited until after Scotland High Schools commencement exercises, which were relocated from Pate Stadium because of the damage. According to Roberson, the repairs absolutely could not have waited.
“It would not have been safe — this is definitely not something they would have wanted to delay,” said Roberson of the stadium mending project.