Sports

Grandstands, Press Box to be Replaced at Summit's Investors Bank Field; Project Eliminates 'Home' Side Seating for 2017 Spring Sports Season

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The Investors Bank Field grandstand structure dates back to 1962, Credits: Greg Elliott / TAPinto Summit
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SUMMIT, NJ - The aging grandstand seating and press box structure at City-controlled Investors Bank Field will be replaced, with demolition already underway and construction set to begin soon. The four-month project will cost $740,823 and will see 'home' fans relocated to the 'visitors' side of the complex for all 2017 spring season Summit High School and youth sports events, including Boys Lacrosse and Track and Field.

Project funding was provided through the City of Summit Capital Improvement Budget, a Union County Kids Recreation Trust Fund grant, and the City’s Field Restoration Fund, with Cypreco Industries of Neptune, NJ, selected as the vendor.

Moorestown-based PPD Design. which also oversaw the design and construction of the new tennis complex at Tatlock Park, also is the designer for the grandstand replacement project.

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While records are not complete, it is understood that the current grandstand structure -- which does not conform to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), or International Building Code (IBC) standards -- was constructed in 1962, with the bleachers converted from wood planks to aluminum in 2000.

Demolition of the existing bleachers has begun on the visitor’s side of the stadium and will be the first area completed to provide seating as soon possible for spring sports. The project will then move to the home team side with a goal of being complete in time for Summit High School graduation.

The grandstands and press box project comes less than a year after the then 12 year-old artificial turf playing surface was replaced at a cost of more than $635,000.

According to a Summit Department of Community Programs (DCP) spokesperson, it was not possible to delay the project until the summer months -- which see few, if any, publicly attended events at the complex -- due to the fact that "the City would incur significantly higher costs as all contractors place a premium (on work performed) in the summer months." The spokesperson added that "further, the project wouldn't be done before football scrimmages start and possibly not before the first game."

Should the 'visitors' side of the field --  when it is is replaced and available -- not have enough seating, portable grandstands on that side will be brought in to accommodate crowds. Summit Public Schools Director of Athletics, Patrick Scarpello, has indicated that the scoreboard will remain operational for the boys lacrosse games.

According to a press release from the Summit DCP "the new bleachers and press box will proudly exhibit Summit pride in utilizing Hilltopper maroon in the design."

The release goes on to ask residents "to please respect the marked construction areas and heed the warning signs for their own safety. During construction, the field and track will be open and available to residents and sports organizations. This project is heavily reliant on weather conditions and phasing needed to accommodate a busy athletic schedule."

Residents with questions about the project are welcome to contact jcolucci@cityofsummit.org.

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