JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Construction work is what caused Centennial Bank Stadium to catch fire Monday night.
Just weeks ago, Region 8 News reported on the great progress being made on the Centennial Bank Stadium expansion project, and the university believes the progress will not slow down.
"Last night was just an accident that happened there with material that was left over from the preparations for movement, and it has not slowed down the crews at all," Executive Director of Marketing and Communications for Arkansas State University Bill Smith said.
Smith said what caught fire was being removed from the structure anyway.
"New construction was not impacted at all," Smith said. "In fact, all the material that was in the fire last night is already on the ground."
Less than 24 hours after the fire, construction workers weren't slowing down on Tuesday.
Crews removed the roof of the press box and plan to remove the other two floors soon. Smith said the timeline is not being impacted.
Following the fire, Smith said the focus is still what a big deal this expansion is for the fans.
"This has been a dramatic project," Smith said. "They've seen the structure of the old press area for the first time since it was built 40 years ago, and now they are seeing it come back apart. And they will get to watch day by day as new steel goes up, new parts of the construction happen."
Smith said this project is more than just making the outside look new. The expansion is bringing in big bucks for the university as well as the community.
"We are keenly aware of the economic impact of Arkansas State of this region, and athletics in particular, when you look at the changes that are happening here and how it's going to move our program forward," Smith said. "It's going to have a tremendous impact on the community, on the fans, and on the university."
The project remains on schedule to be complete by the end of July.