Stadium renovation needs more time and money - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Stadium renovation needs more time and money

Aloha Stadium, under construction Aloha Stadium, under construction
Aloha Stadium Aloha Stadium
Russ Saito Russ Saito
Kekoa Koehler Kekoa Koehler
Anonymous UH fan Anonymous UH fan

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email 

HALAWA (HawaiiNewsNow) - The huge white tarp over scaffolding is a big reminder that Aloha Stadium's makeover is still a work in progress.

"When we're done the stadium will be good for another twenty years," state comptroller Russ Saito said.

He also said the renovation will take two years longer than anticipated and cost more than the $180 million first forecast.

"We have two-thirds of the roof completed. We'll complete the final third next year," Saito said.

The extended finish date from four to six years is because some work can only be done between football seasons. The added cost is for building new structures like four towers that will house bathrooms, concession stands and maybe extra seating.

"We need to add some elevators because the handicapped right now can't get up to the upper level. So we have to build towers for the elevators," Saito said.

It will cost taxpayers $3 million for new field turf.

So far the state's spent $50 million to reinforce beams that keep the stadium standing, change transformers for the field lights, and sandblast, weld, and paint the stadium's exterior.

But do football fans notice?

"I do actually," UH football fan Kekoa Koehler said. "I notice the seats, the blue section, and the top of the stadium is very different."

"Unless somebody told you that they were fixing something, you wouldn't notice it," said another fan who didn't want to be identified.

Saito won't say what the amended cost is before it goes to lawmakers but he doesn't expect much opposition, even with a tight budget.

"If you're going to have a football season. If you're going to expect the kind of crowds that they're hoping to draw in, there's only one place it can take place. And if you're going to refurbish the stadium then you've got to spend the money that's available," he said.

If the legislature approves the appropriation the money for the renovation bill will become available after July 2011.

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