Neglected stadium getting TLC

Neglected Antone “Kona” Vidinha Stadium in Lihu’e, which is existing today with the original, 1972 parking lot surface, is getting some badly needed tender loving care (TLC).

Leaders at Niu Construction were recently awarded a $563,344 contract to resurface the stadium parking lot, said Mary Daubert, county public information officer.

The work going on now has closed off most of the stadium parking lot that is popular with student drivers and those parking for talking story, exercising, working nearby, soccer practices, and other events.

It is the first time since the stadium opened in 1972 that the parking lot is being repaved, Daubert said.

Nearly two inches of asphalt is being used for the project. When completed, there will be between 750 and 800 parking stalls, each being 8-1/2 feet wide by 19 feet deep.

Naturally, there will be several larger stalls for those with disabilities and proper permits and placards, to meet the federal Americans with Disabilities Act provisions.

The resurfacing phase of the project is expected to take five to seven days to complete, followed by striping, weather permitting, she said.

New asphalt has been placed around the perimeter of the stadium fence, too, forcing those at soccer practice on the north Vidinha fields, including members of the Kaua’i High School soccer team, to find alternative parking spaces.

The stadium is named for a former mayor, whose spirit also lives on in the Antone and Edene Vidinha Charitable Trust, established to benefit the people of Kaua’i, with educational scholarships and more.

The trust assets were valued at $7.4 million in 2001, making it one of the top-30 trusts in Hawai’i in terms of assets.

Inside the football stadium, work is continuing to install a banked, rubberized running track, as well as other improvements, in time for the Kaua’i Interscholastic Federation track and field season early next year.

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