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      Fairview High School football stadium condemned; Game night plans change

      High school football continues into its second week of the season. Stadiums across Alabama will be filled with "Friday night lights." But, one local stadium that's supposed to host a game will remain empty. The Fairview High School football stadium was condemned Thursday night. School leaders deemed the bleachers "unsafe." They had engineers come out this week and the decision was made around six Thursday night. But, the game will go on. Cullman High School has agreed to let Fairview play in its stadium Friday and for the rest of the season. "The biggest problem I think structurally, as the engineer told us, it's not what you can see- it's the underlying part that concerned him the most," explained Principal Chris Gambrill. Gambrill showed us how the concrete bleachers are collapsing. They were built around 60 years ago. "We've been looking at it for several years. I'm not going to say that it was not safe. I don't know.{} The engineers say just the winter that we got could have caused some issues this year." "It's not anything that you can really prepare for," said Coach George Redding. "It's kind of a situation you'd never think you would be in. This is home for us. For sure, you're kind of knocked down, you take a step back there." Coach George Redding spent the last 12 hours making plans to move the game to Cullman High School. "That's not home for us," explained Redding. "But, it's important that we have a place that's going to be familiar to us at least five times during the year. The other alternative would be playing ten different venues and that would be tough." All five "home" games this season will go on. But, preparations will change. "Basically, we're going to treat it as an away game," explained Gambrill. "We'll be doing the same things we do whether we're traveling or not. We've got our busses set to go. Our band's ready to go. The Booster's have everything." The school's hoping to have the stadium back open next year. In the mean time, the coach remains optimistic. "My preacher always says it's not about the church, it's about the people in the church. So, it's not about the stadium, it's about these people that make up the stadium." Fairview's principal and coach expressed great appreciation to Cullman High School. The schools have opposite schedules this season, so there won't be conflicting games.
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