Hancock school board approves turf proposal for fields | News, Sports, Jobs | #Education

FIELDS APPROVED – The Hancock County Board of Education met in regular session Monday, approving a proposal for turf fields as part of the planned development of new baseball and softball fields at Weir High School. — Craig Howell

NEW CUMBERLAND — Plans to construct new baseball and softball fields on the campus of Weir High School took a big step forward Monday, with the Hancock County Board of Education unanimously approving a proposal for the installation of turf for the projects.

After officially rejecting previous bids submitted on the project, the board voted 5-0 in favor of a proposal from FieldTurf at a cost of $2,649,993.72. Superintendent Dawn Petrovich noted the contract was only for installation of the turf and related work, and does not include the construction of any structures.

“We’re moving in the right direction,” explained Bob Smith of McKinley and Associates. “We’re getting there.”

The purchase for the turf is being handled through a direct purchase co-operative agreement.

Mark Dziatkowicz, director of facilities and maintenance for Hancock County Schools, relayed the timeline for the project, with original bids coming in April 26 for $3.62 million. Those bids were rejected as being over the board’s budget, and new efforts were made over the next two months.

Turf proposals were received in June, with officials meeting with representatives from each company to look for options on ways to cut costs.

“We went line by line with each company,” Dziatkowicz said.

Smith, as well as Kevin Lynch of J.T. Sauer and Associates, explained current projections have the turf work beginning in September, and plans are to move forward on bid packages for the vertical structures, including dugouts, press boxes and more after installation has begun.

“We don’t want to bid that out and then something happens,” Lynch said.

Officials have noted preference would be to have a local company involved in construction of the vertical structures on the fields.

In related matters, the board members noted their plans to be more active in participating in the planning meetings for the field projects, saying they would be taking turns to attend any such gatherings in order to be better informed.

“We’re facilitators of the money for the county,” board President Chris Gillette said.

Plans call for a new softball field to be constructed on the site of a current parking lot on the Weir High campus, with the new baseball field to be built on the site of the school’s current softball field located next to Jimmy Carey Stadium. For years, the school’s baseball team has played its home games at Edwin J. Bowman Field in downtown Weirton.

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