North High track never used but needs to be rebuilt

August 06, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN -- The track surrounding the football field at Mike Callas Stadium at North Hagerstown High School has to be rebuilt.

Washington County Public Schools officials are seeking bids for work to the track that includes removing some layers and rebuilding the entire surface, according to bid documents.

The track has never been used, and Board of Education Member Paul W. Bailey said the surface does not meet "construction standards."

Board Member Wayne D. Ridenour said the track was not completed when it was originally built, but he deferred further questions to Deputy Superintendent Boyd Michael.


"It's not yet useable," Ridenour said.

Chief Legal Counsel Anthony Trotta said the original contract to build the track is with Craig Paving Inc. of Hagerstown. Michael said that company could still complete the work, but that officials are exploring "all available options" to complete the track as soon as possible.

"Bids are being sought as part of an overall process of completing the track and ensuring that it will be a quality facility for the entire community," he said in a written statement.

Michael said that milling, paving, final surfacing and striping remains to be done at the track.

Officials would not reveal why the work on the track was not originally completed correctly, but said the problem lies with a "cross slope issue." Michael did not respond to questions about the potential cost of the project, saying that information could compromise the bidding process.

He said that there is still money remaining in a fund that was used to pay for the project, and that money will be drawn from that fund to pay for the additional work. When the fund has been exhausted, Michael said there are "available options."

He said the money would not necessarily come from Washington County Public Schools, but he would not offer specifics.

Asked who was at fault for the unfinished project, Michael would not comment, saying he was focused on "completing the project."

Board Vice President Donna Brightman said the bids are for a "redo" of the track, but said that information not included in the public bid documents obtained by The Herald-Mail cannot be discussed.

The total cost of Mike Callas Stadium, including the track, was about $4 million. Almost $1.6 million of the money for the stadium and track is from government sources, The Herald-Mail has reported.

The groundbreaking for the stadium was in November 2005, and the structure was dedicated one year later.

Callas Contractors Inc. in Hagerstown was the general contractor for the project. Bushey Feight Morin Architects of Hagerstown designed the stadium and the track, according to documents.

Phone calls to both companies Tuesday were not returned.

In the bid noticed published last week, a different company is listed as providing engineering and architectural services: Whitney Bailey Cox and Magnani LLC., which is based in Baltimore.

"From what I gather, they put (the track project) out for bid, which means they're going to have to rebuild that track," Board of Education Member William H. Staley said.

Staley said he expected the seven-member Board of Education to discuss the matter during a closed meeting Tuesday.

Mike Spinnler, a member of the stadium committee who organized fundraising for the track, said Monday that he cannot comment on work that will be done at the track. He would not say who advised him not to speak on the issue.

Bailey has said that North Hagerstown High runners have a disadvantage without the completed track. He has said that students who are unable to compete on their home track must go elsewhere and are missing classes to travel to other schools for meets.

Head track coach Curtis Graff has said that he hopes the track is finished by next season. Three track seasons have passed since the unusable track was built.

Bailey said that seems unlikely because the top coat of the track takes time after it is installed before it can be used.

"It's unclear in my mind if students would be able to use it (so soon)," Bailey said.

The following items are included in bid documents for the Mike Callas Stadium track and must be completed by the hired contractor:

  • Install at-grade inlet protection at existing trench drains and install temporary construction fence along perimeter of existing synthetic turf field.

  • Saw cut and remove existing bituminous track paving.

  • Remove track aggregate base course stone.

  • Remove and salvage existing chain-link fence.

  • Grade track.

  • Replace existing trench drain segments indicated for in-kind replacement.

  • Install aggregate base course.

  • Install bituminous track paving.

  • Stabilize remaining disturbed areas and with permission of erosion and sediment control inspector, remove at-grade inlet protection.

  • Install synthetic track surface.

  • Remove accumulated sediment and debris from existing trench drains.

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