Bavarian Bleachers donates seats after Vassar's fail safety insp - WNEM TV 5

Bavarian Bleachers donates seats after Vassar's fail safety inspection

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VASSAR, MI (WNEM) -

A local company stepped in to help after a school district found out its bleachers aren't safe to sit on.

The Vassar School District announced both its indoor and outdoor bleachers did not pass a safety inspection.

The district said the inspector found a high number of cracked and broken wood seats and deck boards as well as considerable corrosion of understructure support frame members. There was also concern about the guard railings and code compliance.

So the school told families that while they can still watch games, like Thursday night's varsity football game, they needed to bring lawn chairs.

Now Bavarian Bleachers, owned by Bavarian Inn Restaurant and Lodge, has donated two sets of portable bleachers for the home football games.

They will be set up in the south end zone and would have cost about $3,000 to rent.

"Oh it feels good. We like to support other communities, not just our own," said Amy Smock, spokesperson for Bavarian Bleachers.

Smock said the company is also planning to help with indoor events.

"Doing the basketball games as well and see if we can fit them in their doorways. We just got to do some measuring," Smock said.

The bleachers are not expected to accommodate everyone, so some will still need a lawn chair.

There will also be no charge to attend football games this season.

As for the girl's volleyball games, they will be moved to Central Elementary School. 

"Huge disappointment, just a slug to the gut," Vassar Athletic Director Jamie Strauss said,

She said she wasn't sure if the stands would pass the inspection, recalling the final home football game last year.

"We did have a stair that cracked. And I had to have a janitor come right away and they fixed that up. Nobody fell through or anything, thank goodness," Strauss said.

Some people in Vulcan country blame the voters unwillingness to pass a school millage for the defective bleachers, but Strauss isn't one of them.

"Regardless, it would've been an issue for us whether we passed it or not passed it. So I don't think that's really an argument that anybody needs to turn to in terms of why this happened. This was just years of wear and tear. We've done our best to maintain, replace boards when needed, that sort of thing. And in the end they just have failed," Strauss said.

Strauss said both sets of bleachers have to be replaced.

"We're looking at anywhere from $400,000 to $500,000. Our first step here is going to be to look at bids and get an idea of what that cost is going to be. And I mean that's something that obviously we're going to need to do and probably have to bite the bullet on," Strauss said.

Madison Baker, junior at Vassar High School, said she was nervous watching football games because of the bleachers.

"They're shaky. They're unstable. They have been for the past couple of years. Especially in the student section where we're jumping up and down," Madison said.

For now, it remains unclear how the school will pay to have the bleachers fixed of replaced.

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