Friday night lights will be a lot safer in Geneva

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GENEVA, Ala. (WTVY) - Geneva High School's Hugh Owen Football Stadium is undergoing a huge transformation.

Over the past few seasons, the stadium has started to raise some eyebrows due to outdated pipes that run under the field.

Some of the pipes have collapsed and have loosened the foundation under the field.

The weakened foundation has caused a few minor sinkholes to turn up, risking injury for anyone playing on it.

The Geneva City School Board is being proactive and has decided to do something about it before anyone gets hurt.

"We've been having some issues for the last several years and really we just needed this upgrade mostly for safety for our kids for our athletes going forward," said Geneva City Schools Interim Superintendent Paul Curtis.

While renovating the field, they are also addressing the old concrete bleachers that line either side of the field.

The bleachers used to house a locker room underneath. The locker room is not used now, and there is a large pocket of air space with nothing supporting the thin layer of concrete above it.

The concrete will be replaced by aluminum with stronger structural support.

The new design will also meet regulations for handicapped accessibility.

"Most people have been real positive,” said Les Sanders, head football coach. “I'm sure you got people that have been here a long time, you know that uh have a lot of memories or relatives that played on this field. I hate to see the bleachers come down, but it's just something that was needed. With safety and handicap accessibility.”

School officials hope the stadium will be done in time for the Geneva Panthers' first home game on September 14th.

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