BERKELEY (CBS SF) — The historic Edwards Stadium at the University of California at Berkeley has seen better days in the last 84 years.
UC Berkeley real estate division spokeswoman Christine Shaff said track and field records that were set at the stadium.
It’s witnessed world records and hosted some of the best track and field athletes.
The stadium was built in 1932. But in recent years, the concrete stadium has become a safety hazard.
UC Berkeley gardener Hank Chapot said blocks of concrete have been falling and that there are offices and maintenance workers below. He’s concerned that someone will be hit in the head with a piece of concreting falling from the stadium.
Chapot said the latest piece fell from the bottom of the bleachers and landed next to a truck. It was about the size of a tennis shoe.
Shaff said, “Over time, water has gotten in, the concrete’s damaged, and if the rebar expands, it pushes little pieces of concrete out, which can fall.”
Most of the damage is on the west side, where there is a lot of exposed rebar. Workers have also removed loose chunks.
The university will start next week to install netting to catch falling concrete.
Shaff said, “We specifically asked the structural engineers if the damaged concrete contributed at all to the structural integrity of the structure and they said no.”
Chapot said catching the concrete as it falls, is “like putting a Band-Aid on skin cancer.”
He wants the university to do more, saying this is a sign Edwards Stadium could collapse in a large earthquake.
The university admits the stadium has a poor seismic rating, but said it would cost millions to retrofit and that it doesn’t have the money right now.
Chapot said it’s putting people’s lives at risk, especially the grounds crew.
“We work out there every day,” he said.