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Temporary grandstands at Clem Senn Field in Sunnyside here to stay for awhile

The temporary home grandstands set up at Sunnyside High School's Clem Senn Field are here to stay for at least the next two years.

Sunnyside School Superintendent Dr. Rick Cole said long term plans are on hold to replace the previous wooden grandstands taken out last spring.

The new stands, erected at a cost of $150,000, seat far fewer people and last school year the district made the arrangement work for graduation by bringing in 1,000 chairs. Cole said that will be the plan for next year's graduating class as well.

"We're not focused right now on the bleachers," said Cole, noting the school board's priority now is passing a maintenance and operations levy in February 2008. Cole said the levy has nothing to do with the bleacher situation, since that will require capital funds.

Cole said it will be at least two years before the district takes a closer look at the home grandstands, which had to be replaced when the previous ones were deemed a liability risk.

The district is working on creating a platform for the new stands to accomodate film crews. The board set a limit of $50,000 from existing funds for a media stand.

Cole noted that it could be as long as four years before the temporary stands are replaced. That's when the district plans to modernize the high school.

Whenever the temporary home stands are replaced, Cole said they will be used elsewhere.

"I still believe these bleachers are not a permanent fix, but a fix that eventually could become the visitors side," he said.

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