Bleachers deemed unsafe at South Point HS

BELMONT, NC (WBTV) - There could be graduation problems this year at South Point High school in Belmont. The event usually takes place on the school's football field but the bleachers have been deemed unsafe. The stadium seats about 5,000 people.

"My brother graduated here at South Point," South Point Senior Meredith Levy said. "Got to see him graduate and I have looked forward to it ever since."

This year's graduation may take place in the school's auditorium. Graduates would only get two tickets instead of unlimited guests if graduation was held in the stadium.

"I can't picture myself graduating anywhere else." Levy said.

The district's insurance agent encouraged the intense inspections. Engineers are inspecting all nine of Gaston County school district's stadium. The bleachers at South Point show distress from weather and exposure. It could cost the district about $500,000 to make the repairs at South Point. That amount could rise if there are issues with the district's other stadiums.

The district says these inspections are happening around the country.

Also in question is whether the stands at South Point will be ready by the time football season starts back up in August. South Point season ticket owners have been calling.

"Folks are saying," Lee said. "Now I need to know if my seat is going to be there before I send you the money."

Lee is telling the ticket holders there will be refunds if the stadium is not ready. He says he won't stress while things remain up in the air.

"Worrying is not going to get you anywhere," South Point HS Athletic Director Scott Lee said. "We'll just deal with the situation as it arises and we'll move on."

The district is scrambling to find the money to fix the bleachers. In the meantime while the bleachers are unsafe, students are still using the stadium.

The school is using the field for soccer games and track and field events. There are a portable stands fans sit on or they can sit on the grass to watch the sporting activities.

No word when the bleachers will be back in the game.