Amanda Guerra, NBC 5 News
The nearly $60 million Allen High School football stadium that got national attention for its grandeur and price tag will be shut down indefinitely 18 months after its opening, school district officials said Thursday.
The Allen High School stadium, the most expensive high school football stadium in the U.S., was shut down Thursday amid structural concerns over "extensive cracking" schools officials called "unacceptable."
The nearly $60 million, 2-year-old stadium in North Texas has cracks in the concourse and will remain closed until at least June while the problems are evaluated and repaired. School officials said the cracked areas have been covered by tarps.
The Allen Independent School District said the cracks were first noticed before the stadium opened in 2012 and initially were viewed as normal before they worsened during the last year and half.
The cracks are up to 3/4-inch wide — wider than would be expected from normal foundation cracking, Allen ISD officials said, when asked about drought conditions and how bad the cracks are.
Allen ISD has relocated daily activities and graduation ceremonies scheduled for June 6 at the stadium have been canceled.
The school said home football games for fall might be affected, and "repairs could be expensive," however it was unclear who will be responsible for the cost of repairs to the stadium.
Allen ISD officials said they are very disappointed that there are problems with the stadium and called the cracks in the concourse "unacceptable."
“Through the course of the last year and a half, we’ve noticed the cracks have gotten more pervasive and a little wider,” said Beth Nicholas, with Allen ISD.
When asked about the repairs needed, a representative of Pogue Construction said the goal was to have the stadium repairs completed before fall football season.
Ben Pogue, the CEO of Pogue Construction who was the contractor for the stadium, said he couldn’t comment on what is possibly causing the cracks.
Football seniors Anthony McGaffin and Ryan Johnson said they’re disappointed if the upcoming seniors don’t get to play in the stadium.
“It’s kind of sad, like it’s a waste of money. We build all that and now it’s breaking two years later,” said McGaffin.
“I think it’s awful paying $60 million — all the homeowners and stuff paying it. It’s really unfortunate there’s cracks in it,” said Johnson.
Parents are being notified of the developments in a districtwide message.
Anthony Samuel is a parent of an Allen High School junior and said he feels the district rushed the project during construction.
“If you would’ve taken your time to do it right the first time, you wouldn’t have this problem,” he said.
And when asked about taxpayers Samuel simply stated, “I think we should get a refund check.”
Allen ISD said the same construction firm that built the stadium is also working on $36 million dollar service center for Allen ISD. That project is now under review.
Currently, a third party is conducting a review on the stadium, expected to be completed sometime in June.
“Ten percent of that report is done, but until that report is completely done we know what. There is speculation of multiple things right now but we don’t have the data,” Pogue told the media.