Miami Trace Local Schools Business Manager Bill Franke recently provided an update on the home side stadium project for the high school football field and said it will be just a little longer before the project can be completed.
One of the reasons for the delay was following the construction of the new Miami Trace High School, the demolition of the old building started, but progress was slowed as crews discovered a larger amount of an insulator known as vermiculite within the walls than was expected. The school district was aware of the insulator before the project began, but was unaware of such a large amount of it within the old building due to the underestimation from the construction company. This wasn’t the only cause though, according to Franke.
“There was no one cause for the delay,” Franke said. “The new high school opened at the end of February, as opposed to January 2. This delayed the closing of the old building and the contents auction. The site was turned over to the bleacher contractors approximately one month later than anticipated as a result. Also, the terribly wet conditions this spring were not conducive to site and demolition work.”
As the project continued, it was made clear that it would take more time and effort to remove the vermiculite because it could also contain asbestos due to the two minerals being gathered in the same mine years ago when the original building was built. Therefore, the gathering of the waste required extra caution when collecting it out of the wall.
Finally, after a few months of work, the old building was down but the previous project deadline for the new home side — which was set for before school started — would not be able to be met. Franke said recently that new deadlines are being set and — though the project won’t be completed by the first football game on Friday, Aug. 30 — the school has worked around the issue for the time being with a large bleacher structure.
“We hope to have the 2,500 seat home side stadium totally ready for use by our fans by the end of September, possibly the Western Brown varsity football game. If we have the benefit of good weather and everything lines up, we may be able to improve on that date,” Franke said on Wednesday. “The bleacher structure was delivered to the site this past Monday, and the basic structure of the stands has been completed as of Wednesday. Throughout this week, they have been delivering other components such as the seating and railings and have begun installing those as well. The press box is scheduled to be on-site (today). We anticipate the stands and press box assembly will go quickly, but once this work is completed the crews still have site concrete walks, lighting, outdoor furniture, electrical, and press box technology to complete. The last task that must be completed prior to use is an approved inspection for use by our local building department. The district has made provisions for approximately 540 temporary spectator seats to be used until the home stands are opened for use. This will give the stadium total seating for approximately 2,100 spectators.”
Franke also mentioned that as part of this project they replaced all the fence around the running track and added a concrete apron outside of lane number eight to improve safety. Once the old high school materials are totally hauled away and the area is re-graded and seeded, he said they will turn their attention to any potential development of that area in the future. He also mentioned they will be looking to make improvements to the old high school parking lot and parking lot lighting as the budget permits.
Finally, the business manager wanted to highlight some other projects on the Miami Trace campus that were completed during the summer.
“Other tasks completed this past summer include the renovation of the old high school modular into the new Miami Trace Learning Center,” Franke said. “We also completed the seal, re-coat and re-stripe of the tennis courts. The new high school site and landscaping work is nearing completion, but have had some setbacks due to the terribly dry conditions — making it difficult for new plants and trees to take hold. We hope to have that work, as well as all remaining corrective work remaining inside the building, completed by the first of October.”
The information in this article was provided by Miami Trace Local Schools Business Manager Bill Franke. Stay with the Record-Herald for more updates on the Miami Trace Local Schools.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy.