The concrete structure — bearing the green and white colors of the original school — likely dates back to the opening of the facility nearly 70 years ago. While the bleachers have clearly served their purpose over the decades, it’s finally time for them to come down and be replaced with something more modern, safer and accessible for everyone.
Kitty Frazier, manager of the city’s parks and recreation department, said the concrete grandstand at Lynn View will soon be demolished and in its place will go aluminum bleachers capable of seating between 500 and 600 people — roughly the number of spectators who can sit on the current structure.
“It’s not nearly as big. It’s based on the seating capacity of the current seats. It’ll be ADA accessible, have a press box on top of it and be really nice,” Frazier said. “Visually, it’ll not have as big a footprint (as the current one), but it will have the space we need.”
The total cost of the project is $485,000, and the work will be done in essentially three phases: site excavation and preparation, demolition of the existing seats and construction of the new bleachers.
“All of the electrical (equipment) for the buildings are actually underneath the bleachers, so we have to relocate the electrical to a separate building before we can tear them down,” Frazier said. “We’re going to put up a couple of little metal buildings near the side of the track for that, so there’s a lot of small steps that have to happen before anything big happens.”
Troy Goldsmith, who went to Lynn View when it was a middle school, walks the track most days, putting in three to six miles at a time. He started doing it about three years ago after he had some heart issues and felt it best to start exercising to better his health.
When told of the project to replace the aging concrete seats with aluminum bleachers, Goldsmith voiced his support.
“The biggest problem (at Lynn View) right now is the stands. They were pretty bad when it was a middle school, and within the last six months, the steps have come loose,” Goldsmith said.
Michelle Stapleton, from Carters Valley, also walks the track on a routine basis, aiming for three to four times a week, at least two miles at a time. She did not know about the project until told by the Times News last week.
“I climb the steps for exercise, but I try to be very careful when I do,” she said.
The steps are crumbling in places, there are no handrails and most recently, one set of steps has sunk about 8 inches into the ground.
ABOUT LYNN VIEW
Lynn View High School first opened its doors in the fall of 1948 and served the communities of Lynn Garden, Bell Ridge, West View, Fort Robinson, Cedar Grove, Bloomingdale and Orebank. The last graduating class crossed the threshold in the spring of 1980 and Lynn View became a middle school until 2003. Tri-Cities Christian School used the facility until 2008.
Kingsport then purchased the school and began using it as a community center in 2010, making it a satellite branch of the Senior Center along with offering space for meetings, athletic leagues, summer camps and afterschool programs. The Lynn Garden Optimist Club uses the outdoor fields extensively for its youth athletic programs throughout the year.