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Single bid opened for North Hagerstown High track

August 29, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN -- Building an NCAA-approved track at North Hagerstown High School could cost more than $850,000 - $100,000 more than previous estimates.

Finley Asphalt & Sealing of Manassas Park, Va., submitted a bid of $773,630 to build a high school track, and $855,194 for a more advanced track. The higher price would buy a track that could be approved for NCAA events.

Finley Asphalt & Sealing was the only company to bid on the work.

The bids include tearing up portions of the existing track and building a new one. They also include the possibility of spending another $105,000 to replace a perimeter trench drain, or receiving a $30,000 credit if stone base already in the track can be used.

The bid was opened Thursday by Washington County Public Schools officials. The Board of Education will vote on whether to approve either bid during an upcoming business meeting.

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The bids were scheduled to be opened last week, but officials pushed back the deadline, saying some bidders requested more time.

There currently is no suitable running surface at North High, officials have said.

Craig Paving Inc., which was responsible for building the track, completed a high school track at the school's Mike Callas Stadium in 2006, but school system officials have said they expected a track that could have been approved for NCAA events.

There are several differences between the two tracks, most notably the difference in the slope of the running surface. The bid for the more expensive track surface is for a track with a maximum slope of 1 percent, while the less expensive is for a maximum slope of 2 percent.

A maximum 2 percent slope is typical of high school tracks, The Herald-Mail has reported.

Roger Craig, president of Craig Paving, said his company attempted to repair the track after he learned about the discrepancy, but rendered the track unusable.

School Board member Bernadette M. Wagner has said that a local running group donated $50,000 to upgrade the track from a high school level running surface to one that could be approved for NCAA events. That group is led by running enthusiast Mike Spinnler.Spinnler and John Williamson, a member of the committee that worked to fund the stadium and the track, both were present for Thursday's bid opening. Both declined to comment about the bid.Mike Callas Stadium cost more than $4 million, including nearly $1.6 million in local and state government funds. The remainder came from private donations.

According to bid documents, building an NCAA-approved track at North High would involve tearing up portions of the existing track and building a new running surface.

However, Craig previously said that if the school system wanted the track built to the specifications for a high school track, Craig Paving could complete the paving in one day, The Herald-Mail has reported.

Craig did not respond to two voice-mail messages left on his cell phone Thursday.




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The issue: The track that surrounds the football field at North Hagerstown High School has not been used since Mike Callas Stadium was built. The company that built the track, Craig Paving Inc. in Hagerstown, has said it was given improper specifications for the running surface. Washington County Public Schools officials have said Craig Paving was aware of the correct project specifications and the desire for a track that could be approved for NCAA events.

What's new: One bid was received Thursday afternoon to tear up work done by Craig Paving and rebuild the track. That bid, from Finley Asphalt & Sealing of Manassas Park, Va., was for $773,630 to build a high school track at Mike Callas Stadium, or $855,194 for a more advanced track. The higher price would buy a track that could be approved for NCAA events.

What's next: The Washington County Board of Education will vote during an upcoming public business meeting on whether to accept either of the bids.

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