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Thorpe stadium upgrades progress

Published June 14. 2011 05:01PM

A $266,000 Community Revitalization Program grant from the Department of Community and Economic Growth (DCED) will be used to renovate the Jim Thorpe Senior High School football stadium.

The Jim Thorpe school directors plan to vote on bids at the next board meeting. The plan is to have the project finished around Oct. 11. School superintendent Barbara Conway said there is nothing definitive yet about how the renovations will affect the upcoming football season.

In January, the district received word that the grant it was to be awarded had been rescinded. Recently the district had been told by the office of state Rep. Doyle Heffley, that Jim Thorpe Area would be receiving the grant.

The grant money will be used to renovate the stadium, which has been showing damage and deterioration over the past few years. When construction begins, the irrigation and drainage systems will be worked on and new sod will be put on the stadium.

The architect from EI Associates, Gary Bannon, found some additional things that need to be worked on in the stadium. One involves turf being taken off the playing field and transplanted on the practice field.

Bannon suggested the turf project be done as another bid separate from the main bid. If a contractor has a smaller bid, the district could have the flexibility to use the grant money on the additional projects.

Bannon has met with three contactors and there could possibly be more interested bidding. After bids are received by the June 23 due date, Bannon will present them to the board, which will make a selection at the June 27 meeting.

After the bids are approved, construction can soon begin.

"We would execute contracts, have all the paperwork done so the contractors could start construction roughly around the middle of July," said Bannon.

The board discussed different tactics to fixing the field, including moving the poll vault area. Different construction tactics involving the track areas will also be considered.

The district wants to follow the construction timeline but it also needs to follow whatever timeline is set for the grant money.

"There might be a timeline also on the grant," director Gerald Strubinger stated.

"We should get a contract within a week to 10 days. So then we will be able to get a better idea what our time frame is," said Conway.

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