GILMER — Construction on the $1.8 million renovation of Buckeye Stadium is “going pretty smoothly” and the facility will be ready to host Gilmer High School graduation ceremonies in June, the project manager told the Gilmer ISD board Monday night.

Brent Bishop, a Gilmer High graduate and employee of WRL General Contractors, Inc., in Flint, said aluminum bleachers have been fully installed for new, expanded home-side seating. He also said the new press box’s “structure” is complete, although work remains to be done on the structure.

The elevator for the press box arrived last week, he reported.

Plans call for having 1,028 orange stadium chairs in the bleachers, 200 of which Bishop said would be installed in July. The school only had 610-615 such chairs for season ticket holders in the past, school superintendent Rick Albritton said.

Meantime, rest rooms on the two-story press box’s bottom floor are partially completed, Bishop reported.

Albritton warned the public to avoid the entire construction site until graduation on June 7 as Bishop warned it is still a dangerous area.

Fans will not be allowed to loiter on the home side, and must remain in the areas of their seats unless in line for concessions or the bathroom, school officials indicated.

The stadium is almost tripling the amount of handicapped seating and will look at opening a portion of time for handicapped parking, said Albritton.

In addition, school board president Jeff Rash noted the school will sell its own merchandise, such as t- shirts, caps and seat cushions, in the stadium.

Plans also call for vendors to sell food in the stands, but Albritton said it will cost more than if obtained at the concession stand.

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