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Publication praises Bethel College’s new stadium

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. -- The Midwest Precast Association highlighted Bethel College’s new sports complex in its fall publication. Prestressed Concrete Inc. of Newton supplied the material for the stadium standing west of Joe W. Goering Field. The stadium consists of 417 pieces of pre-stressed concrete. The largest pieces, which are found on the back walls that face Main Street, are 35-38 feet long and weigh 30,000 pounds each.

Bethel College was looking for "longevity, low maintenance, speed of construction and aesthetics," noted the Midwest Precast Association’s publication. "When the prestressed concrete was compared to other construction methods, the concrete stadium provided and met all criteria."

In addition to the large, 15-ton panels on the back of the stadium, the publication also made particular mention of the restroom facilities, which are enclosed with prestressed concrete insulated sandwich panels, "low maintenance panels" that "provide for an economical conditioned space."

His company has helped build other stadiums before, said Howard Schmidt, a 1963 Bethel graduate and vice president for production at Prestressed Concrete, but this was the most complete to date, involving almost all of the 100 or so employees to create the number and variety of concrete products needed.

The whole Thresher Sports Complex, including the stadium, Joe W. Goering Field, Franz Plaza and concessions area and newly reincarnated Schmidt Track, was dedicated at Fall Festival on Saturday, Oct. 1.

"You build a stadium once every 50 years or so," said E. LaVerne Epp, past president of Bethel College. The capital campaign for the sports complex was one of the major projects completed during his tenure. "This is our first stadium, and we wanted the assurance it would last over time. The complex is a tremendous addition to the north end of campus. The aesthetics and durability were even more impressive than we had envisioned."

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