Bleachers postponed until summer

Athletes disappointed, seniors upset due to absence of bleachers


The empty space, in Bolding stadium, is where the bleachers are set to be put.

Eman Jaradat, Staff Writer

The new home bleachers at the football stadium are yet to be completed and are not expected to be fully finished until the summer of 2019.
John Ellenberger, the Director of Student Activities, was displeased when he heard about the delay from Fairfax County. However, He is working hard to make the best of this situation.
“A gentleman from Fairfax County Public Schools said they were having a hard time getting the permits pushed through Fairfax County Government,” Ellenberger said. “We went through the whole football and field hockey season [without replacing the bleachers].”
Despite the bleachers being a major necessity for football, the construction of the new bleachers began shortly after the fall season ended.
“At first, the gentleman from Fairfax County Public Schools said that we would have [the bleachers] for the spring season,” Ellenberger said. “That would have been fine, as long as they were installed by March 1.”
Everything seemed to be heading in the right direction until about two weeks ago when Ellenberger received a call from the county.
“They stated that they were behind on another job in the county, and because of that, we are not going to have the new bleachers for the spring season,” Ellenberger said.
There are many problems that must be solved so that the games can go on.
“The biggest issue was the question of sound because they already demolished the press box, where all the sound was amplified,” Ellenberger said. “I need to make sure we have sound for announcements, music, senior nights, and anthems.”
Ellenburger is very persistent and wants to have the 2019 spring season be just as enjoyable as any other.
Despite this setback, he was able to solve the issue readily.
“Mr. Witkowski let me borrow an extremely loud speaker that is used for band practice,” Ellenberger said. “I’m really thankful that Mr. Witkowski and the band department are hooking me up for the sound.”
Although disappointed, Ellenberger still found innovative ways to recreate the ideal stadium.
Ellenberger reached out to the county and they told him that they would do everything in their power to make sure that the scoreboard works.
“We also had
He also has a backup plan in case the county cannot provide him with a functioning scoreboard.
“My plan B is to use an older scoreboard, which is about four feet by six feet, and put it on wheels just in case,” Ellenberger said.
Many seniors are disappointed that these problems will affect sports games. However, they are attempting to ignore the issues and still have fun celebrating their last year at AHS.
“I feel annoyed because it is my senior year and it is going to be weird playing lacrosse with no home bleachers and press box,” senior Faris Vadakoot said.
“[The bleachers] are going to be a little bit smaller, because of the handicapped requirements under the ADA.”
Ellenberger stressed the importance of being compliant with the requirements outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA. Everyone deserves specific accommodations in order to ensure and promote equality and inclusion.
“As a senior, I am glad that the repairs happaned after the football season. The bleachers hold a memory of going to football games for four years. It’s also a bit upsetting that I will not get to see the final product,” Vadakoot said.
Regardless of the lack of home bleachers and other setbacks, the field will be the sight for many games during the spring season, such as for lacrosse and soccer. During the games, both AHS supporters and any supporters of the opposing team will be sharing the visitor’s bleacher.
Senior Andrew Izqierdo has been playing for the boys soccer team for the past three years. He feels that this spring season will be different without them.
“It’s always been a tradition to have our home fans and hype squad on the home side,” Izqierdo said. “I just don’t think it is fair to have this happen in my senior year.”
Even though we may not have the bleachers completed, the necessary arrangements have been made in order to ensure the best possible season.