Austin Peay State University students head back to school Monday with an unfinished football stadium.
The school began tearing down the previous stadium located in Clarksville immediately following last season’s final game.
Construction on a new stadium was held up when a sinkhole formed in an end zone in May.
“The sinkhole didn’t slow anything down in the process,” said APSU athletic director Derek van der Merwe. “We knew that we had some challenges with some sinkholes. It ended up being larger than we anticipated, 50-70 foot, which was a significant hole.”
The school built in $120,000 in the event a sinkhole was discovered during construction.
“We do have sinkholes that are a natural feature of our campus. This hole was discovered during construction and it just became part of the project,” van der Merwe said.
Construction is still underway but should be finished on time for the first home game September 13.
“Opening day, we will be completely be done with all construction. As for right tow, we’re just finishing the field and our facilities and it should be finished by the end of the week,” he said.
The new stadium seats 10,000. Luxury box seats have all been sold.
“The stadium is just one more move by a university that has a vision to be a predominant university in this region,” said van der Merwe. “Austin Peay State is something you can’t ignore anymore.”