By Ted AYALA
Unforeseen events at Stengel Field forced the city to swallow a significantly higher price tag for the demolition project currently underway at the site.
The company awarded the contract to demolish the field’s backstop and grandstand, Triangle Enterprises, Inc. of Burbank, discovered materials containing asbestos at the site, as well as a service wall vault.
According to city staff, an additional $86,240 would need to be appropriated to pay for the added costs, bringing the Stengel Field demolition contract to $530,165.
Under questioning by Councilmember Zareh Sinanyan at Tuesday night’s Glendale City Council meeting, director of Public Works Roubik Golanian explained that the changes were unforeseen by the city and Triangle.
“The asbestos containing materials were in a concealed area,” he explained. “We weren’t aware of it. Even if we had done exploratory site reconnaissance, we would have had to pay up front as part of the contract [for its removal].”
He continued that the price for its removal was negotiated down to approximately $50,000 from $62,000, which Golanian said was “very reasonable.”
The existence of the service wall vault in need of removal, according to City Manager Scott Ochoa, was known at the start of the project. However, its exact location could not be pinpointed until the demolition was underway. Therefore, the cost of its extraction could not be included in the original contract.
Golanian said that the vault’s removal would “prevent interference from demolition and clear the site for future projects should they become materialized.”
Formerly maintained by the city, the responsibility of the field’s maintenance was transferred to the Glendale Unified School District (GUSD) in September 2013. Stengel still serves as the home field for the Crescenta Valley High School (CVHS) Falcons and Glendale Community College (GCC) Vaqueros.
However, the city was still responsible for the ultimate fate of the structures at Stengel Field. Years of water damage had taken their toll on the field’s backstop and grandstand. So extensive was the deterioration in the bleachers and subterranean locker rooms that they had been red-tagged and closed to the public.
GUSD will still be spearheading efforts to build a new structure on the field. According to a city report, it could take upwards of three years for the district to find the necessary funding to construct a new stadium.
Preliminary estimates for new bleachers on Stengel Field range from $800,000 for new bleachers to approximately $8 million for an entirely new stadium.