The Lawrence High School boys soccer team opened its home season Tuesday night in a new — yet incomplete — stadium.
City inspectors have been working with the district’s contractors this week to make sure certain items were complete so they could issue the school a temporary occupancy permit for the new football stadium, which was pressed into use for soccer because that field’s completion has been delayed by weather.
Some of the football stadium’s must-have items include restrooms, a hard surface with access to bleachers and a concrete road for emergency vehicles. Orange fences block off construction areas.
“All those things we would have to have done anyway,” said Frank Harwood, the district’s chief operations officer. “At this point, we know what can be done and what can’t be done and concentrate on the things we have to have done.”
Temporary fencing has also been put in on the bleachers because some handrails haven’t been installed yet.
Talks also are continuing with the Centennial neighborhood residents. The latest discussions have been focused on landscaping. The original settlement required that all planting be done by the first game, but Harwood said that would have been detrimental to the landscaping.
“Survival rates would have been pretty bad even with the weather we’ve been having,” Harwood said. “We’re looking at coming up with a plan and then planting the things when they make the most sense to plant.”
Harwood said that right now 1,800 seats are available on the home side and that number could be up to 2,400 by Friday, when the Lions will take on Shawnee Mission North. The visitors’ bleachers are not completed.
While the site might not be done, the district is sure of one thing.
“Friday night we’ll be ready for a football game,” Harwood said.