Since mid-February, the contract between the State Schools of the City of Petersburg and the company Astroturf has started to build a new drainage system and a football field, but there is still work to be done before it can start.
Ground surveys are underway to assess what needs to be done to best create a space where pipes can be laid and build the pitch to maintain its structure to ensure crews are safe. Until now, through “collaborative efforts”, the football field was maintained by coaches who repaired where the sinkholes were in the field, especially due to weather conditions, by filling it.
“When it rains, it rains, pun intended,” Deputy Superintendent Dr. Julius Hamlin said.
While providing an update on the project, Hamlin described that the team is moving into the design and engineering phase of the project, which could be completed by April 1. The important part of the phases concerning the construction deals with the drainage problems on the ground as they run along the bleachers, the concessions and under the track.
Since the sinkholes are everywhere on the lot where the pipes are, Hamlin suggested a complete overhaul to replace everything in those places. A simple band-aid to fix some of the pipes is insufficient since this process has only screamed complaints from opposing coaches when they arrive for football matches.
“We are proposing to introduce a grading fabric by placement…to definitely ensure that we will withstand any erosion issues in the future,” Hamlin explained.
But while land drainage does its job, there is also the benefit of tackling the sinking schools. It is hoped to work with the city council to obtain funds for this phase of the project.
The presentation showed maps of the high school campus with black lines to symbolize the pipes running underneath. Currently, they are working to obtain the specifications of the project to integrate it into the construction of the land.
“Thank you for the hard work,” said Superintendent Dr. Maria Pitre-Martin.
The goal is to complete construction in time for the season and allow the football team to train on the pitch. According to sources, the first two games of the football team are absent in case more time is needed for construction.
Zoe Collins Rath (she/she) is a sports and education reporter for the Progress-Index. Sometimes email her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @zoe_jordan99.