Never mind that Pasco High School’s homecoming game against Lake Minneola High is coming up Friday. Or that Gulf High’s homecoming against Tarpon Springs High is also set for the weekend.
Fans will find seating somewhat squeezed for the big games and beyond, as the schools’ stadiums undergo immediate bleacher renovations to tackle recently discovered structural problems.
The Pasco County school district hired an engineering firm to review the safety of its seven concrete stadiums. The inspection results led to the closure of home side stands at Gulf, and the visitor’s side at Pasco.
Superintendent Kurt Browning said he recognized that it’s the middle of the season, and that some people have asked why not wait to do the repairs.
“My top priority is to protect the safety of students, parents and community members, so I made the decision not to delay closing the stands,” Browning said in a press statement.
At Gulf, home fans will still be able to sit in the disability-accessible bleachers and two 40-seat stands on the home side, as well as in a temporary grandstand. About 470 seats will be available on the home side, while the visitor’s bleachers will remain open.
At Pasco, which has a bigger stadium, visiting fans will sit on the same side as the home team.
District officials said the changes should not require the cancellation of any activities in the stadiums. The fields and tracks will remain open.
They anticipated the construction work will continue into the spring.
Note: This post has been edited to reflect the correct date of Gulf High School’s homecoming game.