Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

School District Alters Artificial Turf Installation Plan

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

School District Alters Artificial Turf Installation Plan

Article excerpt

The North Allegheny School District has dropped back on plans to install artificial turf on several fields at the intermediate high school, but district officials say they aren't ready to punt the project away.

The school board last November included adding turf and lights to the soccer, baseball, football and softball fields as part of the 2018-19 capital improvement plan. The work was to be done this summer, and the fields ready for teams in the fall.

The district's only field with artificial turf is at Newman Stadium.

According to a statement read at the June 27 meeting by board member Allyson Minton, Athletic Director Bob Bozzuto found a vendor through a joint purchasing agreement to do the work for $3.885 million, and have the fields ready for fall. However, the written proposal, which was received June 26, did not include the full scope of the work and altered the timeline.

Officials then concluded that some parts of the project were required by law to be publicly bid. They also found some problems that added to the cost, including "unexpected soil conditions, additional need for stormwater mitigation and accessibility concerns," according to the statement.

Those additions raised the price to $5.4 million and the completion date in November or December - after fall sports finished for the year.

The district then decided to push back the project until the summer of 2019, and seek bids during the coming school year.

"We are all disappointed that it is not going to happen this fall," Mrs. Minton said. "I have long thought that our facilities in this district continue to need help. Athletic facilities and our fields were not immune from that problem."

Board member Kevin Mahler said that "due diligence from our administrators" saved the district from unexpected additional costs. "It is unfortunate that we are not going to have this for the fall, but we will do our best to have this as quickly as possible. …

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