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Santa Clarita / Antelope Valley : More Quake Damage Is Discovered at Stadium : School: Reopening for College of the Canyons’ facility is pushed back to mid-October, changing playing schedules.

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Additional damage from the Northridge earthquake has been discovered at College of the Canyons’ sports stadium and will postpone its reopening until mid-October, college officials announced Tuesday.

The delay changes the playing schedules of Santa Clarita’s three high school football teams, which use the stadium for home games. The college has no football team.

Geologic studies will begin today to determine the extent of the newfound damage, said Jorge Perez, COC’s facilities director.

Workers trying to shore up the stadium’s northeast stairwell last week noticed that it had settled more than previously thought--a possible indicator that the ground could crumble more.

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“There’s a concern that the soil is not stable under that part of the stadium,” Perez said. “When the contractor tried to level the stairway with the stadium, they realized it was not as high.”

Two deep holes will be drilled underneath the stairwell and the removed soil will undergo stress and compression tests, officials said. If the soil is found to be unstable, work crews may need to remove much of the dirt currently under the stairwell and replace it with firmer soil, Perez said.

Test results are not expected to be available for at least three weeks.

The stadium had been scheduled to reopen in early September. Although the college does not have a football team, it hosts games played by Santa Clarita’s high school football teams. The first game was slated Sept. 8.

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Hart and Saugus high schools often use the stadium for home football games. But because of the earthquake repairs, school officials already had made up an alternate schedule that has Hart and Saugus playing most of their home games at Canyon High, said Dan Hanigan, assistant superintendent of the William S. Hart Union High School District.

“It’s not desirable, but it’s do-able,” said Hanigan. “We know the schedule will work. We had it set up before.”

Varsity football usually is played on Friday nights, but the alternate schedule will have several games on Thursday or Saturday to allow more games to be played at Canyon, Hanigan said.

College of the Canyons students most frequently use the stadium for track and field activities. Practices are expected to be disrupted by the longer closure, but the official track season does not begin until February.

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Overall, the College of the Canyons campus sustained an estimated $2.5 million in damages from the Northridge earthquake, according to Sue Bozman, college public information director.

The new damage “is a disappointment because we thought we were just about completed with this,” Bozman said.

Today’s geologic tests are projected to cost $1,900. No cost estimates have been given for additional repairs.

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. . . about the Antelope and Santa Clarita valleys. B9


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