Edinburgh Community High School’s football program has experienced rebuilding seasons before.
This time it’s the Lancers’ stadium’s turn.
Thunderstorms that pounded central Indiana the evening of May 13 caused significant damage to the home bleachers, which make up 750 of the facility’s total 1,000 seats.
The damaged remains were hauled away later that same month, clearing the way for new home bleachers to be installed at a cost of about $75,000.
Lee Company Inc. of Terre Haute is installing the new bleachers. The concrete base being used is a departure from the gravel surface under the former home bleachers.
Edinburgh’s new seating will get tested early and often in the weeks ahead, starting with the Lancers’ Aug. 15 scrimmage against Marshall.
Coach Bill Unsworth’s squad opens the regular season a week later at home when Manual visits. Six of the Lancers’ nine regular-season games are at home.
“They poured the concrete the week before the (IHSAA’s) moratorium. (Today) the materials will arrive, and the company will start putting the bleachers in. It will be the same number of bleachers, but these will be ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant,” Edinburgh athletics director David Walden said.
Lancers football teams have practiced and played at the current location since 1980.
Walden, a 1979 Edinburgh graduate, said the school had been able to use the original bleachers until the storm forced a change.
“They were really in pretty good shape for something put in in 1980,” Walden said. “Fortunately, no one was injured in the storm, which was our biggest concern. At the time it was going on, we had just finished a baseball game, and the storm was about five minutes out.”
Unsworth, whose first four seasons as coach has produced more victories (11) than the program had in the previous 14 years combined (nine), looks forward to seeing the new bleachers.
“You have a special relationship with your facilities,” Unsworth said. “That’s your home, and we practice on that field, so it’s special to the coaches and players.”