Ready to Rumble: SIU and SEMO prepared for earthquake

Published: Jun. 28, 2018 at 3:47 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 28, 2018 at 6:07 PM CDT
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SIU facilities manager, Brad Dillard, said the school's newly built football stadium is up to...
SIU facilities manager, Brad Dillard, said the school's newly built football stadium is up to code. (Source: Don Frazier/KFVS)

(KFVS) - When you're celebrating a touchdown or hoping for an interception, you're probably not thinking of the safety of the stands you're in, but there is someone who is.

Facilities managers at both Southern Illinois University and Southeast Missouri University are constantly thinking about your safety.

During a recent World Cup game, fans shook Mexico City with so much excitement it registered as an earthquake on the Richter Scale.

SEMO and SIU may not draw a World Cup-sized crowd on a regular basis, in fact, they're more likely to see true earthquake activity first.

"That's why we have life safety codes in the United States and that's why they're tailored to different parts of the country so you may build a facility a little different in Southern Illinois than you would in Kansas when it comes to seismic standards," said SIU facilities manager Brad Dillard.

He said the school's newly built football stadium is up to code, "safety is our number one priority so whether that be security cameras that cover every inch of our football and basketball stadium, whether that be inspecting all of our facilities we'll have a thorough inspection before our first home football game looking for not only structural issues of same shape or sort but minor issues is the fencing all in good shape do we have any trip hazards any issue that could affect anyone who would use our facilities."

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"The athletic department, as well as facilities management, works very closely with the department of public safety to work on an EOC process, there are officers in place as well as facility managers on call to respond to any emergency that may take place," said Southeast's facility director when talking about Houck Stadium, which was built in the '30s.

She said when thinking about the safety of the stadium they keep its age in mind, "we are working with Lawrence Group on a campus-wide comprehensive master plan. of which they are analyzing the needs for our campus and athletics is included in that."

SEMO athletic Director Brady Barke said they want to give fans a fun atmosphere to come to but also make sure it's safe.

"This is a neat venue of course the concrete structure and the way that it was built a number of years ago has made it one of the safer venues but certainly it's showing it's age and it's something that we recognize that we need to continue to make sure we keep the facility as safe as it can be," said Barke.

Both stadiums are up to code when it comes to safety and Dillard with SIU explained that every stadium has different code standards specific to where they are located.

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