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Hempfield expected to hire turf consultant |

Hempfield expected to hire turf consultant

| Wednesday, January 13, 2010 12:00 a.m

Hempfield Area School Board plans to name a consultant next week to oversee the replacement of synthetic turf at its athletic field.

Stephen Parks & Associates of Hollidaysburg is expected to be hired Monday to oversee replacing the aging turf, which could make footing unstable and pose a danger to athletes.

Superintendent Terry Foriska said Parks has tested the surface and an underlying layer of bonded rubber, known as the e-layer, which acts as a cushioning pad.

Foriska said if replacement work begins in February, the field could be ready for sports activities by fall.

The initial replacement cost estimate was $660,000, but Foriska said Parks discovered the pad was in better shape than originally thought and it could be saved to reduce costs.

Foriska said cost estimates are about $400,000.

The board is expected to approve renovating part of the air-conditioning system at the high school, which is estimated to cost $150,000. Officials plan to install a ventilation system in the field house, which was omitted when the structure was built. It opened in 2006.

The money for the projects will come from $3 million left over from the bond issue used to finance reconstruction of Stanwood Elementary School. The board is restricted to using the money for capital projects.

During a work session held Monday, school directors questioned several construction change orders at Stanwood.

Directors expressed surprise when they learned that the installation of eight smoke detectors will cost $8,500.

Board President John Henry questioned why the district should have to pay for the detectors when the contract with the architect required building a structure that met state fire safety requirements.

“I don’t think we should have to pay anything,” Henry said. “If they missed the code, that’s their fault. They just missed it. They have to provide us a building built to code.”

“This isn’t a mistake we made,” added Director Will Shay. “It’s something they missed.”

Directors then learned it would cost $14,000 to add a sink to the music room at Stanwood.

Foriska said water is needed for the maintenance of music equipment, and the architectural plans show no sink in that room.

“I’m paying $14,000 for a sink?” Shay asked.

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