Structural issues close Hardy Graham visitors seating this season
UT Martin officials are closing the visitors seating at Hardy Graham Stadium after a routine inspection of the UTM ROTC Building, which includes seating on the stadium’s east side, identified structural and safety issues that are under review.
As a precautionary measure, university officials are closing the building and visitors seating until more detailed inspections are made and the issues are resolved.
The building opened in 1987 and is home to the university’s ROTC Program and houses the indoor range for the Skyhawk rifle team.
Relocation plans are underway for ROTC classrooms and offices and the Skyhawk rifle team.
Graham Stadium also serves as the home football field for Westview High School, which hosts the season opener with Dresden High School this Friday night.
Game parking and stadium access will not be affected, but visitors-side concessions and restrooms will be closed until further notice.
The Skyhawks’ season-opening football game with Northwestern State on August 29 will also be played in Graham Stadium along with the remainder of the UT Martin home football schedule.
The stadium’s visitors side includes seating for 1,200 persons, while the press box side of the stadium seats approximately 3,000.
“Our first concern is safety, both for spectators and ROTC Building users,” said Dr. Keith Carver, UT Martin chancellor. “We look forward to correcting these problems and resuming use of an important university building.”
The technical evaluation of the building’s seating was completed by TLM Associates Inc., of Jackson, and KSi Structural Engineering Inc., of Nashville.