SAFETY issues over replacing old floodlights mean refurbishment work at Herringthorpe Stadium is set to stretch further into the New Year.
Sub contractors moved in last month to carry out a long overdue revamp of the facilities.
The stadium building is being rewired, toilets refurbished, timber facias replaced with uPVC and a layer added to the roof to give it another 20-year lifespan.
The plan was to put new floodlights at the top of the existing poles at the multi-sports venue but when the contractors moved in, they found issues.
“The (columns) are 30 years old and there is some concern whether they are still structurally sound,” said Steve Gaines, secretary of Rotherham Harriers Athletics Club, the main users of the stadium.
“They can't safely put the new floodlights on the current columns unless they and the concrete foundations they sit on are certified as safe by a structural engineer. I don't think anyone will do that.
“Because of that they are having to construct completely new foundations and put new poles in.”
The situation is complicated by the fact that supply chain issues means the parts are harder to get hold of.
Steve believes it could be March before all the work is completed.
Harriers have been able to carry on training at the track under the existing floodlights and on the adjacent field but it is reaching the point where the power will have to be disconnected so work can start on rewiring the stadium building.
Steve added: “We are waiting for clarity from Rotherham Council as to when to vacate. The logical time would be the Christmas break.
“We have contingency plans but it is a bit of a head scratcher to get it all organised and make it work.
“Woodburn Road at Sheffield have confirmed we are OK to use that facility but we don't know whether everybody can get across to train there. We've also have the opportunity to use the Mount St Mary's facilities at Spinkhill.
“We've also had dialogue with the Rotherham rugby people to train on the illuminated grass next to their floodlit training area on Herringthorpe Playing Fields.
“Everything is looking OK at the moment. It is just going to disrupt our normal club operation.”