Burrell stadium renovation project moves ahead
Tuesday, August 18, 2020 | 4:29 PM
The renovation of Buccaneers Stadium at Burrell High School continues forward, and the project now is expected to be completed in about a month, athletic director Drake D’Angelo said Tuesday.
The Burrell School Board voted unanimously in March to move ahead with the renovations, which include the installment of artificial field turf and replacing the surrounding track.
After initial delays in the early stages of the coronavirus safety response, ground broke in late May.
D’Angelo said at the time the company gave the end of August as a possible finish time for the entire project but stressed that that estimated date could be extended.
“They hit some hiccups along the way and some delays with everything going on in our world right now, which we knew could be a possibility,” D’Angelo said.
“They said they should be 100 percent completed by Sept. 22.”
D’Angelo said he is optimistic the field turf phase will be completed by the end of the month and will give way to the track phase.
D’Angelo said he has been in close contact with school district officials, as well as the coaches of teams that will use the field.
“Every time I find out new information, I make sure they get it,” he said. “The company has weekly construction meetings to talk about the process, and then they let me know.”
While the Burrell athletic administration, coaches for football and soccer and others who hope to use the field have one eye on the project, a main focus is on the fate of the fall sports seasons and a Friday meeting of the PIAA board of directors.
The PIAA is expected to decide whether to move ahead with the fall seasons or postpone them until after Jan. 1. Gov. Tom Wolf on Aug. 6 recommended the seasons be postponed as a safety measure in preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
Burrell football coach Shawn Liotta confirmed Tuesday if the seasons remain in the fall, the game with East Allegheny originally scheduled for Buccaneers Stadium on Sept. 18 now most likely will be at East Allegheny.
A scrimmage at Indiana (Sept. 4) and the season opener at Valley (Sept. 11) would precede the contest with the Wildcats.
“We understand we could become road warriors early on, but it definitely will be worth the wait,” Liotta said.
“In today’s landscape with the pandemic and other things, you almost have to plan for different scenarios. That has to do with the field project, and also the bigger picture with the (fall) seasons. When the work is done, it’s going to be a wonderful facility a lot of people will enjoy. I’m looking forward to it.”
Burrell also has home football games scheduled against Deer Lakes on Oct. 9 and Derry on Oct. 23.
“If they are able to finish up early, we might still be able to host that East Allegheny game on Sept. 18,” D’Angelo said.
D’Angelo said he backloaded the soccer schedules to account for a possible later finish to the project. According to the schedules on the Burrell athletics website, the boys soccer team’s first home game is Sept. 16 against Shady Side Academy followed by a home game against Valley on Sept. 24.
The girls soccer team has a home game slated for Sept. 17 against rival Freeport and another Sept. 26 against Valley.
“We’re just hopeful we have sports in the fall,” D’Angelo said. “Ultimately, we hope the completion of the stadium is the cherry on top. We want to make sure the kids have the opportunity to compete, and it would be great to see them compete on their home field.”
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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