By Jaimie Julia Winters
winters@montclairlocal.news

Today's football game attendees at Woodman Field will have to get in early to find a seat.

Half the bleachers -- the east side of the stands past the press box -- are closed off with police tape for today's home game against East Orange set for 1 p.m.

"The bleachers were inspected prior to the home game. We saw excessive rust," said Superintendent Kendra Johnson.  "In an effort to promote safety, we elected to close off the bleachers for today's game."

The district attempted to get the bleachers repaired before the game, but a vendor was not available until Tuesday, Sept. 25.

"We are slated to have the bleachers repaired prior to our next home football game," Johnson said.

The Montclair Town Council approved a $3.4 million bond measure during its March 20 meeting to replace the turf at Fortunato Field and the track at Woodman.

The bulk of the monies was earmarked for renovations at the two sports facilities with $1.5 million going towards replacing the turf at Fortunato Field and $1.1 million for an upgrade and replacement of the track at Woodman.

After the district discovered excessive rust in the bleachers, it was decided that they should be shut down for today's game. ANDREW GARDA/STAFF
After the district discovered excessive rust in the bleachers, it was decided that they should be shut down for today's game. ANDREW GARDA/STAFF
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The remaining $791,000 is to be used for a HVAC rehabilitation project at the Watchung Annex.

At a Nov. 29, 2018 Board of Estimate meeting, Fortunato turf and Woodman track projects were just one of several potential upgrades and repairs at Montclair High School Athletic facilities. Other suggestions were replacing the turf at both Woodman and Watchung Fields and replacing the bleachers at Woodman. In January, the project list was pared down to just Fortunato and the track in the short term.

Bids were rejected on the Woodman Field project in July.