The Waverly Central School District will likely be able to renovate War Memorial Stadium earlier than originally planned, interim superintendent Michael McMahon told members of the board of education Thursday.

The renovations, which had been scheduled to occur in 2015, may now take place next year following conversations with the state education department, McMahon said. In addition, the district will be able to use the cost allowance from its current capital improvement project on the parts of construction eligible for state aid.

The next step is to put the project out for bid, which will include a series of alternatives. Safety will take top priority when choosing which renovations to pursue, McMahon told the board.

Repairs and renovations to the stadium were estimated to cost a minimum of $2.3 million earlier in the year, when the district's engineering firm and district officials determined the project's scope.

Base stadium renovations would include construction of new stairs, repair and reinforcement of the concrete bleachers, conformation to accessibility standards, replacement of the existing grass field with either new grass or turf and other enhancements.

McMahon said he will also soon meet with officials from the district's insurance company to suggest short-term improvements that will improve safety at the stadium.

Safety and liability concerns from insurers may prevent the stadium from being used this fall. However, McMahon said he hoped the suggestions - including lighting improvements, the use of chain-link fence lattice over the wide openings between the concrete bleachers and the application of epoxy concrete on the bleachers to make them less slippery - would keep the stadium open.

The decision on whether the stadium will be usable this fall will likely be made in the next week, McMahon said Thursday, as fall sports practice starts in mid-August. Athletic director Jeffrey Manwaring has worked on an alternate schedule for the football team in case the stadium can't be used, he said.

Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: