Cracks force closure of $60M Texas HS stadium

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Cracks force closure of $60M Texas HS stadium
June 26, 2012 - From atop the press box, crews can be seen working to put the finishing touches on the playing field and seating in the nearly completed Allen Eagle Stadium. The $59.6 million dollar, 18,000 seat project was funded from a $119 million bond package approved by voters in 2009. The stadium features a sunken-bowl design, video scoreboard, multi-level press box, weight room, wrestling room, and an indoor golf facility. The stadium is on schedule for completion and will officially open Friday August 31, 2012 when Allen hosts the defending 5A State Champions, Southlake Carroll. (Michael Prengler/Special Contributor)
FILE - This Aug. 28, 2012 file photo shows the front entrance of Eagle Stadium at Allen High School in Allen, Texas. The $60 million high school stadium that got national attention for its grandeur _ and its price tag _ will be shut down indefinitely just 18 months after its opening, North Texas school district officials said Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, for an examination of cracking in the concrete of the stadium's concourse. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)
August 3, 2012 - A view from atop the press box of the nearly completed Allen Eagle Stadium. The $59.6 million dollar, 18,000 seat project was funded from a $119 million bond package approved by voters in 2009. The stadium features a sunken-bowl design, video scoreboard, multi-level press box, weight room, wrestling room, and an indoor golf facility. The stadium is on schedule for completion and will officially open Friday August 31, 2012 when Allen hosts the defending 5A State Champions, Southlake Carroll. (Michael Prengler/Special Contributor)
August 3, 2012 - A weight room that would rival any Division I football program awaits Allen ISD athletes as the new Allen Eagle Stadium nears completion. The $59.6 million dollar, 18,000 seat project was funded from a $119 million bond package approved by voters in 2009. The stadium features a sunken-bowl design, video scoreboard, multi-level press box, weight room, wrestling room, and an indoor golf facility. The stadium is on schedule for completion and will officially open Friday August 31, 2012 when Allen hosts the defending 5A State Champions, Southlake Carroll. (Michael Prengler/Special Contributor)
August 3, 2012 - Allen Eagle starting quarterback, Oliver Pierce (26), has a laugh with a few of his teammates during Media Day for the new Allen Eagle Stadium. The stadium is on schedule for completion and will officially open Friday August 31, 2012 when Allen hosts the defending 5A State Champions, Southlake Carroll. (Michael Prengler/Special Contributor)
August 3, 2012 - Looking out of the visitor's tunnel you can see the press box and home side seating of the nearly completed Allen Eagle Stadium. The $59.6 million dollar, 18,000 seat project was funded from a $119 million bond package approved by voters in 2009. The stadium features a sunken-bowl design, video scoreboard, multi-level press box, weight room, wrestling room, and an indoor golf facility. The stadium is on schedule for completion and will officially open Friday August 31, 2012 when Allen hosts the defending 5A State Champions, Southlake Carroll. (Michael Prengler/Special Contributor)
June 26, 2012 - Finishing touches are being completed at the new Allen Eagle Stadium. The hallway shown contains the home locker room, wrestling room, and an indoor golf facility. The stadium is on schedule for completion and will officially open Friday August 31, 2012 when Allen hosts the defending 5A State Champions, Southlake Carroll. The $59.6 million dollar, 18,000 seat project was funded from a $119 million bond package approved by voters in 2009. (Michael Prengler/Special Contributor)
August 3, 2012 - Christian Herr, an Associate Principal with PBK Architects, fields questions from the media regarding construction of the new Allen Eagle Stadium. The $59.6 million dollar, 18,000 seat project was funded from a $119 million bond package approved by voters in 2009. The stadium features a sunken-bowl design, video scoreboard, multi-level press box, weight room, wrestling room, and an indoor golf facility. The stadium is on schedule for completion and will officially open Friday August 31, 2012 when Allen hosts the defending 5A State Champions, Southlake Carroll. (Michael Prengler/Special Contributor)
June 26, 2012 - Crews work to put the finishing touches on the playing field and seating in the nearly completed Allen Eagle Stadium. The $59.6 million dollar, 18,000 seat project was funded from a $119 million bond package approved by voters in 2009. The stadium features a sunken-bowl design, video scoreboard, multi-level press box, weight room, wrestling room, and an indoor golf facility. The stadium is on schedule for completion and will officially open Friday August 31, 2012 when Allen hosts the defending 5A State Champions, Southlake Carroll. (Michael Prengler/Special Contributor)
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Feb. 27, 2014 5:55 PM EST

ALLEN, Texas (AP) - A $60 million Texas high school 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.

Eagle Stadium in the Dallas suburb of Allen will be closed until at least June for an examination of "extensive cracking" in the concrete of the stadium's concourse, the district said in a statement Thursday. The closure will likely affect home games at the stadium this fall, the district said.

Built in 2012 as part of a $120 million bond issue, Eagle Stadium seats 18,000 people and sports a 38-foot-wide video board. Eagle Stadium's opening was a moment of triumph for the community of Allen, a fast-growing Dallas suburb that has become home to a high school football powerhouse. The Eagles won the Class 5A Division I state championship last year.

District officials defended the cost - an eye-popping figure even in football-mad Texas, home to hundreds of schools playing under the "Friday Night Lights" - by calling the stadium an investment for generations of future Eagles fans and a much-needed upgrade from the district's previous 35-year-old field.

They planned to host state playoff games and other events at Eagle Stadium. Instead, the district's graduation ceremonies and all other events are now on hold indefinitely.

"This is a significant investment for our community. We are very disappointed and upset that these problems have arisen," said interim superintendent Beth Nicholas said. "It is unacceptable. Our students, families, and the entire community have always supported the district and our commitment to them is to make sure this issue is appropriately resolved."

Officials said an engineering firm has completed about 10 percent of its review of the stadium. It is expected to recommend "appropriate" repairs, the statement said.

PBK Architects, the Texas firm that designed the stadium, did not return a message seeking comment Thursday.

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