Weather has been good, bad for bond projects
Not surprisingly, above average rainfall has slowed some of the Baldwin School District bond issue projects.
However, one project has benefited from the rain, while another hasn’t been affected, according to Supt. Paul Dorathy. Some of the athletic complexes have been hurt by wet weather this fall.
“The rain has not been good for getting construction done,” Dorathy said. “Basically, it makes the area too muddy to get machinery in there to work. So, that has kind of pushed these projects back.”
First, the bad news caused by the rainfall. An extraordinarily wet September and October caused problems at the new practice track site north of Baldwin High School. The rain created a muddy mess around the track and large vehicles were unable to get in there for work.
That delayed the laying of the asphalt and track surface. Now, construction crews are worried about having enough dry days with warm temperatures that are required to lay the surface.
A decision was made to postpone the track surface until the spring. At Monday’s School Board meeting, Dorathy said the track most likely wouldn’t be ready to use when the season starts March 1.
“It’s been impossible for the crew to get in and complete the last layer of asphalt and rubberized surface of the track,” he said. “Now, it’s gotten too cool to do that kind of work. So that work has been pushed back until sometime in the spring. So it is likely we will not start having practice on our new facility at the beginning of the season, unfortunately. We will plan for the fact that we might be practicing at Baker’s stadium all spring.”
The first bit of good news came from the other athletic field complex. The two varsity ball fields were laid with sod, but the pair of junior varsity fields were seeded with grass. This is where the rainfall and warmer temperatures lately have helped the project.
“While the rain has slowed things up at the baseball and softball field complex, it hasn’t hurt the project from still being completed this fall,” Dorathy said. “The rain has been wonderful for the two grass-seeded fields. That grass has been growing very well right now. It’s very even and we don’t have any bare spots. Our hope is that we don’t get a hard frost too early.”
Another piece of good news from Monday’s meeting is the rainfall hasn’t slowed progress on the new Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center. A gravel driveway was built to allow heavy machinery in and out of the construction area.
“The only time the rain affects them is when it’s actually raining,” Dorathy said. “They can’t pour concrete while its raining, but as soon as it stops they are able to get in there and work. They just keep right on going and working.”
The other project in the bond issue is the new performing arts center, which will be built in between BHS and Baldwin Junior High School. Doug Loveland of DLR Group said the final documents on the project should be completed this week or next and the project should go to bid in the first week of December. Loveland said the board should see those bids for approval in January.