Possible termite damage forces change in Civic Field grandstand demolition plans

Updated Jan. 5 with clarification from the city that there has been no sign of live termite action in the grandstands.

Originally planned in two phases — removal of recyclable/reusable materials, and subsequent demolition of the remainder — the demolition of the Civic Field grandstand will now comprise just demolition.

The reason: damage from a bug infestation that is possibly termites, although no sign of live termites was found.

Discovered Monday by crews from Ballard Re-Use, who were to take the seating and other salvageable parts of the grandstand for re-use and recycling, the infestation is extensive enough that they opted not to take anything that might risk bringing bugs into their warehouse facilities.

“Ballard Re-Use was not willing to take the boards because of this for several reasons,” said Carrie Hite, Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services for the City of Edmonds. “The first being, if there were any hidden bugs, or eggs, they didn’t want this to spread in their warehouse, and the erred on the side of caution. The second being, these boards would not be marketable for re-sale because of the damage.”

According to Hite, the general demolition is still in the works to begin next week. She and other city officials will meet with the contractor, Construction Group International, LLC, on Monday to discuss details.

“It will mean more work for our demolition contractor,” Hite added. “We’ve set up a meeting with them on Monday morning to discuss details. We had really hoped that at least some of the structure could be reused and kept out of our landfills, but it looks like the termites changed our plans.”

— Story and photos by Larry Vogel

  1. Reading this I am remembering the Taste of Edmonds somewhere around 2003 or so when Edgar Winter performed. I was in the packed to capacity grand stand and as the place was rocking out I could feel the whole place bouncing from all the stomping and dancing. We joked about the old place caving in. I guess we were lucky it didn’t! I will always have fond memories of that structure.

  2. If I lived anywhere near the Civic Field, I would be asking where termites go when their home is destroyed. Will they die? Or will they swarm to find new homes? Does the new demolition plan include extermination first?

  3. I think the bug this article refers to may not be a termite but rather Powder Post Beetles. Termites would not spread in a lumber reclaiming facility because the wood is dry. The beetles can spread to dry, unfinished wood.

  4. This makes me sad. So many memories of the MHS band playing there for football games. Great times! Damn bugs.

  5. I remember growing up in Edmonds and walking down there for the Independence Day parades and fireworks in the 1950s, as well as the Edmonds Junior High games in the afternoons in 1958 and 1959. And for the fireworks display in 2000 with a good friend there too. My last fireworks display, in person, ever! Oooh! Aaahh! When i was a kid, we would lay down on the grass west of to the grandstand and with every shower of lights, say those words! How I miss those days!

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