Fire damage to West Orange-Cove press box, event center leads to months of fallout

Published 4:55 pm Tuesday, July 18, 2023

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The newly constructed West Orange-Cove CISD press box and event center encountered significant damage due to a June 29 fire outside the press box.

“In the interest of complete transparency and after a thorough investigation, the cause of the fire was due to the sun reflecting off the angled glass of the press box onto the vinyl VIP seats with seating covers,” a release from the district announced.

“The corrosive fumes from the fire have affected all the soft spaces within the structures and will now require extensive renovation to ensure the safety and functionality of these facilities.”

The event center will be accessible for two events scheduled in early August.

However, West Orange-Cove CISD officials said the event center would be inaccessible for at least four months after.

“Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that we will be able to utilize these facilities for the upcoming 2023 football, volleyball and basketball seasons,” a district statement said.

“The decision not to rush the restoration process stems from our commitment to ensuring a safe and welcoming environment for all future events. Our primary concern is to prevent any recurrence of the burnt smell that may surface in the future.”

District officials said they would provide regular updates to inform the public about the progress made and any changes to the anticipated timeline.