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The new bleachers at Williamstown High School were expected to be filled with Yellowjackets fans on Friday for the game against St. Marys but due to a “manufacturing defect” the game has been moved to Stadium Field in Parkersburg.
(Photo by Douglass Huxley)

WILLIAMSTOWN — Williamstown High School’s varsity football game this Friday against St. Marys is being moved to Stadium Field in Parkersburg.

Gates will open at 5 p.m. and the kickoff will be at 7 p.m. Guests are asked to sit in the home-side bleachers.

Williamstown High School’s JV football game is still scheduled to be played in Williamstown with guests to that game being asked to sit on the visitors side.

According to a statement by Michael Erb, communication coordinator for Wood County Schools, the move is due to a manufacturing defect recently discovered in the newly installed home-side bleachers at WHS. Erb said officials are working to determine the extent of the issue.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we’re not going to open the bleachers until a full assessment is done to determine the extent of the issues,” Erb said.

“It is important to note, this is caused by a manufacturer’s flaw,” he said. “The crews and individuals who worked on this project and installation did their jobs correctly and well. We are working with the manufacturer to determine our next steps in addressing the issue.”

The manufacturer is GT Grandstands out of Plant City, Fla. According to their website, they have been in business for over 15 years and offer a wide range of products and services including permanent grandstands, press boxes, renovations, angle frame bleachers, team benches, and aluminum picnic tables.

In the Sept. 2 publication of The Tribune-Democrat, in Johnstown, Pa., Joshua Byers reported brackets under six rows of the newly completed grandstands at Price Field broke during Westmont Hilltop School District’s first night game on Aug. 23. Byers reported there no injuries when the stands buckled, and game workers were immediately notified of the issue and blocked off the area. Byers reported school administrators contacted Stadium Solutions, who installed the bleachers, and they contacted the manufacturer, GT Grandstands. Byers reported the response included replacing all of the support brackets on the home side of the complex.

Byers reported the grandstands, an I-beam under-structure design, were inspected prior to the stadium’s opening and no problems were found, although, it was later discovered that one bracket had broken after the dedication ceremony on Aug. 19.

Erb said at this point he was unsure of how long an assessment of the issues will take.

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