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Costly Texas high school football stadium closes due to design flaws

By Jana J. Pruet

DALLAS (Reuters) - One of the most expensive high school football stadiums in the United States will remain closed through the 2014 football season after an engineering firm declared it unsafe, school officials said on Tuesday.

The $60 million stadium in the Dallas suburb of Allen was initially closed in February after cracks of nearly an inch wide were discovered in the concrete concourse.

A recently completed engineering survey identified design deficiencies in the stadium's elevated concourse that were in violation of building codes, said Allen Independent School District Superintendent Lance Hindt.

"Our commitment to Allen students and taxpayers remains firm that the stadium be repaired properly at the expense of those responsible for the failure: the architect and the builder," Hindt said in a statement.

The cost of the 18,000-seat stadium that includes a $1.3 million scoreboard was financed as part of a voter-approved $119 million bond package.

In Allen, as in many parts of Texas, high school football games are some of the most important events on the calendar.

The Allen Eagles football team, which won their division last year in statewide competition, will hold its football games in the neighboring suburb of Plano this year.

(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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