Workers with a demolition company began dismantling East Ridge High School’s Raymond James Stadium on Friday.
As of early Saturday afternoon, the four-man crew from Modern Day Wrecking out of Nashville had razed about a quarter of the 56-year-old facility.
One of the crew said the entire stadium may be leveled by Monday afternoon. Once the home stands are on the ground, workers said they would begin hauling away the debris. The workers said they were unclear where the debris would be hauled and how long that effort may take.
Officials with the City of East Ridge condemned the home-field bleachers back in August, after it was determined the structure was unsafe and could conceivably collapse under its own weight.
The Pioneers played one regularly-scheduled home game against Signal Mountain at the Baylor School this fall. The remainder of its home games were played on Shanks Field with spectators confined to the visitors’ side stands.
The East Ridge football team had adopted the motto of “Defend the Ridge,” and were undefeated in the regular season. The Pioneers’ record of 12-1 _ they lost a quarterfinal Class 3A State Tournament game to Notre Dame at Finley Stadium _ was the best in school history.
Preliminary plans to replace the home stands calls for the erection of aluminum bleachers with a capacity of about 800 spectators. A newly established organization, East Ridge Alumni and Supports Association, is raising money with the aim of possibly assisting to build additional facilities, such as a field house and concession stand at the stadium.