Demolition delayed for Murdock Stadium

Just as the process of building a new Murdock Stadium was set to begin, demolition was postponed, but those involved are willing to wait for a good thing.

“The plan is to demolish late December 2013 to January 2014 after fall sports like soccer and football finish,” Director of athletics Tony Barbone said. “It will be an 18 to 24-month project until completion.”

Delays are just another part of the building process.

“The schedule’s been modified, which is not uncommon, Barbone said. “It’s normal for a project of this magnitude to be delayed.”

In-depth planning was the reason for the changes to the schedule.

“The Department of State Architecture (DSA) has to approve a plethora of things to make sure we’re ready to build,” Barbone said. “We put together a group of planners consisting of anyone who would have anything to do with it, including coaches and trainers. That way, nobody can say ‘oh, we forgot about this.’”

The wait may seem long to some, but for some staff members, like Dean Lofgren, who has been at EC for 28 years, and who was a student, the new sports facility is closer than ever.

“I was involved in the planning in the ‘90s for plans that fell through,” Lofgren, track and field coach, said. “We were going to leave the old Murdock, and it was just going to get renovated. It wasn’t until recently that they decided to build a state-of-the-art facility.”

For other staff members the change of plans is a reprieve and a final chance at closure.

“We didn’t have the best year last year,” Coach Matt Kirk, defensive coordinator, said. “It’s an opportunity to end on a good note in front of a lot of old faithful fans, so I’m glad it got pushed back. Now we can end in the fashion that we want to.”

Kirk, whose football team will be playing at Redondo Union High School during the 2014 season, is also looking forward to getting back to Murdock.

“It’s going to be beautiful,” Kirk added.”There’s going to be a lawn area where people can sit and bring lawn chairs.”

The new features are countless.

Barbone said here will be new press boxes, a track around the inside of the stadium, a turf field, better locker rooms, an athletic training room under the stadium, and a multi-sport practice facility that has already been completed.

“It will be the best sports facility for community colleges in California,” Barbone said. It’s something we can all be proud of. If you look at the new practice facility, it’s just a sign of things to come.”

A projected view of what Murdock Stadium and the practice facility will look like upon completion.