Berkeley's Edwards Stadium in need of serious repairs, retrofitting

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- Edwards Stadium is an iconic structure at UC Berkeley, but now the track and field stadium which opened in 1932 is in need of some serious repairs and possibly retrofitting.

Edwards Stadium is located on Fulton Street and Bancroft Avenue several blocks away from the Hayward fault.

Upon entering the west side tunnel of Edwards Stadium, one quickly sees its degrading facade. Chunks of concrete have fallen making it a safety hazard, but not all of the concrete has fallen over time. When a university employee complained, a structural engineer was sent out. "They sent someone out on a boom arm lift with a hammer and chiseled away the spalling concrete because you can see it, it was flaking," UC Berkeley employee Hank Chapot said.

Chapot is the employee who reached out to the university. The stadium is also where he and other gardeners start their day. "My biggest concern is if there is an earthquake," he said.

Just last year, the university's seismic action plan for facilities enhancement and renewal gave Edwards Stadium a poor seismic rating.

Edwards Stadium is used by the track and field and soccer teams at Cal. It's also rented out to high schools and non-profit organizations.

ABC 7 News obtained an email sent out by a university supervisor that expressed some concerns about an upcoming track meet called the Tommie Smith Youth Track Invitational.

We found one of the organizers in Oakland who knew nothing about the crumbling pillars which support the bleachers. "It would be a tremendous loss if we lost that facility, but yeah it was built in the 30s so, it could stand some repair," Tommie Smith Youth Track Invitational spokesperson Mark Alexander said.

In a statement the university said: "We have interim plans underway to address immediate concerns and are finalizing longer term plans."

Since 1997 the university has spent $500 million in seismic improvements across campus.
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