Village signs off on Lake Zurich stadium project

  • A renovation at Mel Eide Field will more than double the seating for Lake Zurich Bears fans.

    A renovation at Mel Eide Field will more than double the seating for Lake Zurich Bears fans. Daily Herald file photo

  • Lake Zurich Unit District 95 Facilities Director Lyle Erstad, left, and Superintendent Michael Egan appeared before the Lake Zurich village board Monday night. The village approved a stadium improvement project at Lake Zurich High School.

    Lake Zurich Unit District 95 Facilities Director Lyle Erstad, left, and Superintendent Michael Egan appeared before the Lake Zurich village board Monday night. The village approved a stadium improvement project at Lake Zurich High School. Bob Susnjara | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 1/6/2015 5:30 AM

New bleachers with an expanded seating capacity and other work are part of an overall $2.4 million package of improvements for Lake Zurich High School's football stadium complex.

Lake Zurich village board members Monday night voted 6-0 in favor of the project that's expected to be ready for the 2015-16 academic year. Lake Zurich Unit District 95 officials said the construction should start in this summer.

 

Under the plan, the new home-side bleachers will accommodate 2,500 spectators at Mel Eide Field. That'll more than double the current seating limit of 1,200.

With the increase in stadium capacity, the west-side stands where the Lake Zurich Bears fans sit will rise 46 feet. Seating capacity will remain at 600 for the visiting team's fans on the field's east side.

"Great addition to the school and the community. Thank you very much," Lake Zurich Mayor Thomas Poynton told District 95 Superintendent Michael Egan and Facilities Director Lyle Erstad, who appeared at Monday's village board session.

In addition to the bleachers, the $2.4 million project will feature new storage units under the seats, a new press box and replacement of security fencing and a sidewalk. There also will be regrading of the girls varsity softball diamond to get rid of a left-field hill in the complex that dates to the 1970s.

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District 95 officials told the village that football often draws crowds beyond the current 1,200 seating capacity, requiring portable end-zone stands and standing areas. They said the 2,500-capacity bleachers will allow more fans to find a seat, but not necessarily larger crowds.

"This is a very positive improvement to our stadium complex," Erstad said.

Before the 2014-15 academic year, the school district budgeted about $1.2 million for stadium complex upgrades.

That work included a new synthetic playing surface, drainage improvements and the creation of a stormwater detention area.

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