Rottle Field grandstands won’t be done for this season

MONTESANO — For the second straight season, Montesano High School’s varsity will be a football team without a home field.

The planned reconstruction of the Rottle Field grandstand, destroyed by fire last September, will not be completed for the 2013 football season, District Superintendent Dan Winter confirmed Thursday.

The project, targeted for completion by mid-October, was delayed due to difficulties with the concrete risers that would support the wooden benches in the grandstand.

Stadium contractor Rognlin’s Inc. of Aberdeen, according to Winter, refused the precast risers provided by the supplier.

“There was some bowing to the concrete risers and areas that were not square, so they were having trouble fitting into the brackets,” the Montesano superintendent reported. “(That) caused them to realize they had a bow in them.”

The risers will be sent back to the supplier to be rebuilt, Winter said, and probably will not be installed until at least early November. If all goes well, he added, the grandstand might be completed by spring.

“It’s really disappointing, because we felt like we were getting really close,” Winter said. “I feel worse for the seniors who were looking forward to playing at Rottle Field and now they’re not going to have that opportunity. But the main thing is we want to make sure it’s done right.”

Montesano had already rescheduled three of its five varsity home games — Sept. 13 against Cascade Christian, Sept. 26 against Woodland and the homecoming contest Oct. 18 against Tenino — for Aberdeen’s Stewart Field.

Still in limbo, according to athletic director Tim Trimble, are the dates and locations for the mid-October contest against Rochester and the scheduled Nov. 1 traditional battle with arch-rival Elma.

Montesano’s sub-varsity high school and junior high football games and varsity girls soccer contests will continue to be staged at Rottle Field without grandstand facilities, Trimble added.

Fire destroyed the stadium’s grandstand last Sept. 16, forcing the varsity football squad to play all but one of its remaining games away from home. The Bulldogs overcame the handicap to capture the state 1A championship.

Montesano’s Homecoming game last year was played at Rottle, with temporary bleachers installed. That arrangement, however, will not be repeated this season.

“The construction going on limits the use of the restrooms and there are emergency evacuation (issues),” Winter noted.

The construction timetable might be optimistic, school officials conceded, due to inclement weather and a potential dispute over costs.

If the project goes according to plan, however, the grandstand would be done for home boys soccer matches next spring.

It is less likely that Montesano would stage home track meets in 2014. The section of track in front of the grandstand was also damaged by the fire and the district has delayed maintenance on the surface until the grandstand construction was completed.