ELYRIA — Guarantees are hard to come by in a construction project.
Yet, Sean Murphy, who is the man on the ground overseeing Elyria’s building project, is willing to do just that for Elyria residents who want to see football at the new Ely Stadium on Aug. 24. That is when the Elyria High School Pioneers will take on Avon Lake for the first home game of the season, and Murphy said Wednesday that the new stadium will be ready for the occasion.
Murphy offered a very optimistic project update to Elyria school board members Wednesday, eagerly offering details about how the project will come in on time. A lot is happening at the old stadium, signifying the point of no return for the project: visitors bleachers, the track and the goal posts were ripped out this week.
“We wouldn’t take this step, to tear down the old stadium so soon, if we were not confident the new stadium will be ready,” he said.
Syed Abbas, president of Architectural Vision Group, said the first phase of the building project is going so well that new tennis courts, first thought to go into the next phase, will be ready in phase one.
“They are ready to come to do the turf pretty soon. They are ready to come to do the asphalt track pretty soon in the next couple of weeks,” he said. “The pads are poured for the visitor seating. All the foundation is there for the home seating. The next two or three weeks you will see a lot of activity.”
Abbas said the final facility will be one of the best in the region.
“You won’t find anything like it in Lorain County and adjoining counties with a complex like this when it’s all complete,” he said.
Murphy said a key component – a new scoreboard – is tentatively scheduled to arrive on July 23.
He said contractors will hit several milestones now until opening date.
Murphy said the new track, turf field and visitor bleachers for the new stadium will go up next month and the home bleachers would soon follow. By the beginning of August, the project will move into the finishing touches to ready for the game.
“By then, we will have an occupancy permit,” he said.
Also Wednesday, board members approved a contract with Sponsor Burst Inc., a Brunswick-based company that will work to secure sponsorship and naming rights for various components are the facility. It will allow the district to raise funds for continued operations.
But one thing will stay the same: Ely Stadium will remain Ely Stadium in name.
Sponsor Burst representatives said they already are lining up sponsors and hope announcements can be made before the first game.
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