• Field Project Update - May 2015

    Following our ceremonial groundbreaking in March 2015, the first phase of the project began in April with work on the excavation of soil and rock for the large storm water basin. This basin, as shown in the photos below, is designed to collect water runoff from each of the synthetic turf fields and the campus. The basin works by capturing water, diverting it from playing surfaces and other areas on the campus, and releasing the water slowly over time into an approved discharge location. Other progress, including work in the stadium and track and field area, is also shown below.

    These three pictures represent stages of excavation/progress on the large storm water basin. The first picture represents an early stage of the excavation while the second photo gives a mid-point in the excavation process. The third and final photo is the most recent, showing the placement of stone following the completed excavation.
    photo 1  
    field photo
    photo 2

    While a great deal of progress has been made to date, there have been some early delays. “The district has been working closely with the architect and contractors to address items that will allow us to gain time to meet our substantial completion target of August 7, 2015” Dr. Zerbe explained.

    Final completion is targeted for September 19, 2015. The August 7 substantial completion date designates the renovated sites as safe for practice and play, with minor cosmetic work required before the final complete target of September 19.

    This picture depicts the site preparation for the shot put area to the right of the stadium alongside Kriebel Mill Road. These are new facilities that will increase the safety of track and field events.
     shot put

    The Board of School Directors voted to accept the bids recommended by the administration and the Board’s Property Committee at a special meeting on Monday, January 12, 2015.  The bids for lights were not awarded in order for the district to seek an appeal of Worcester Township’s conditional use application decision in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas. The appeal is intended to resolve the concerns that the district has with the township’s decision. If the court does not render a final decision in time to include the installation of lights in substantial completion, the district has taken steps to ensure that lights can be installed at a later date. Having to install lights following the substantial completion will likely cause the district to incur additional cost. The Board is committed to a planned final fields project that includes lighted fields.

    As with any project, several necessary change orders have been approved since the initial bid approval in January. The most significant of these include conduit installation for future lighting, infill type, and restroom changes. Electrical conduit is being installed at both synthetic field locations in order to plan for the installation of field lighting, pending the court’s decision. The infill change order was approved to ensure maximum possible safety for our athletes. The last substantial change order involves the restroom facility, and includes emergency lighting in case of power outage, and cosmetic deducts to better blend the restroom with other campus structures.

    This picture shows work on the high school stadium field. About 2’ of soil is being removed in order to make way for the drainage system and synthetic turf surface. This will allow for the turf to be installed at the same level as the existing track surface. The track surface repair and re-coating will take place following the installation of the stadium turf in the later part of July/early August.

    During their May meeting, the Board approved the use of the construction management firm, Fidevia, of Litiz, Pennsylvania to assist the district with keeping the construction project on schedule, while keeping costs and change orders to a minimum. Fidevia has had a long history of school and private construction management. More information can be found at www.fidevia.com.

    During that same meeting, the Board also approved a change order precipitated by unanticipated excavation of excess rock. The change order allows the district to pay for the placement and cover of rock on the high school property in areas not part of the original construction bid. While approved by the Board, the terms of the order were later changed to move the position of the excess rock to the berms outside of the planned softball playing surfaces and not under the field surface. This change is much more conducive to the district’s needs.

    School Board Tour
    Pictured, left to right; are Dr. David Zerbe, Superintendent of Schools; and School Board Directors Brenda Hackett, vice president; S. Christian Nascimento, president; Greg Pellicano, Kim Woodring, Cathleen Barone, and Peter MacFarland.

    Most recently, members of the School Board participated in a tour of the site in an effort to allow them to observe the work firsthand. During the tour, the Board observed the size and scope of this project, impressed with the size of the storm water basin and progress to date.

    “While this project means a great deal to our community, I want everyone to understand that my staff and I continue to work hard to ensure not only that we have safe fields for practice and play, but that these improvements contribute to the overall aesthetic value of the campus,” Dr. Zerbe noted. 

    Look for regular updates and photos of the progress made on the MHS field improvement project here on the district's website.