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Just a few weeks before football season starts, Missouri State University has decided to take down the remaining three stadium light poles after one came crashing to the ground earlier this week. KSMU’s Matt Evans has more.
Reporter: “Right now I’m standing where the light tower on the northwest corner of the Robert W. Plaster Sports Complex fell Tuesday, narrowly missing some innocent bystanders. Earlier today, Missouri State officials announced that three other poles inside the stadium show signs of corrosion and will be taken down as soon as possible.”
“We determined that in the interest of safety the best course of action is to remove those three poles and begin that process immediately,” said McClure.
Kevin McClure is the vice president for administrative and information services at Missouri State University.
The poles were first erected in 1975 and were moved when the stadium was renovated in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. The poles are about 100 feet tall and house 38 stadium lights. Each tower, including the one that fell Tuesday, weighs approximately 10,000 pounds.
McClure said the base of the pole that fell cracked over time and corrosion eventually caused it to fall. He also added that regular inspections were done on the poles, but they were mostly visual and the cracks and corrosion were not seen until the engineers performed ultra-sonic tests. McClure said he was just relieved that no one was injured.
“Had this happened when the students were here that area would have been typically very active,” said McClure.
The cost to clean up the fallen pole and to hire outside consultants was about $2,500. Just to remove the remaining light poles will cost an estimated $25,000. And then there will be the cost of the new lights.
With football season right around the corner, McClure said the university is looking at many different options to replace the lights, including using temporary lights.
The first Missouri State home football game is slated for Saturday, September 12th against Tennessee-Martin.
For KSMU News, I’m Matt Evans.