Board travels across state to find new HHS track

Michelle Stuckey
January 27, 2012 at 9:49 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Jon Rome, the executive director of physical plant services for the school system, examines the track at Hahnville High School, which has deteriorated after only seven years of use.
Michelle Stuckey
Jon Rome, the executive director of physical plant services for the school system, examines the track at Hahnville High School, which has deteriorated after only seven years of use.
St. Charles Parish School Board members have been searching near and far for the best type of track to put down at Hahnville High School.

Board members and administration visited many facilities to determine what type of track would be the best fit at HHS. Some board members, including John Smith, Art Aucoin, Al Suffrin and Jay Robichaux, accompanied administration on visits to West Jefferson High, Slidell High, Lakeshore High and the University of Georgia earlier this month.

Track replacement became necessary when the current track deteriorated beyond repair last year. The track lasted only seven years and cost the district around $300,000.

During a Capital Improvements Committee meeting last Monday, Reed Seaton, president of Hellas Sports Construction, made a presentation about the company’s track product.

"We’re very proud tonight to be offering you what we think is one of the most revolutionary track product that is on the market today," Seaton said. "Hellas only works for educational institutions…so safety is paramount for us…and we’re the only guys in the industry that are trying to be environmentally friendly. It costs a little bit more but the performance characteristics are outstanding."

Hellas told the committee that their track product would cost between $240,000- $327,000 depending on the model the board chose, plus an additional $91,800 fee for removing the current track and an optional $48,000 coating to protect the track. The track would also come with a seven-year warranty.

Bob Strano, with Beynon Sports Surfaces, is a retired district school administrator and pitched another type of track to the committee. Beynon has installed dozens of tracks throughout Louisiana in addition to hundreds across the country in both high school and collegiate facilities. Strano said that the company’s tracks are extremely resilient - even withstanding nearly two weeks of standing water at some local facilities after Hurricane Katrina.

"Our reputation speaks for itself," Strano said. "A lot of superintendents and school boards are being smart…and going into the higher quality tracks."

Beynon offered a five- or 10-year warranty on their track. Strano said that the Mondo would be more difficult and costly to remove than other track types. Beynon estimated the cost of a new track between $305,00-$335,000

Seaton said that both companies make their own materials so the board would be dealing with domestic products either way.

The board deferred both the selection of a track product and an engineer until the next committee meeting in February.

Several other capital improvements projects are currently underway in St. Charles Parish Public Schools. From new wing construction to track and roof repairs, the Capital Improvements Committee had their hands full during their January meeting.

After a setback last year due to a delay in steel delivery, the new wing at Harry Hurst Middle is now nearing completion.

Michael Tabb with Murray Architects said that the building will have temperature controls by this week. Tabb said that 100 percent of brick and masonry work is complete, and about 80 percent of the glass work is done. Tabb said the building should be complete by the target date in March.

J.B. Martin Middle’s new wing is also nearly complete. Officials said that all of the brickwork should be done and stairwells should be in by the end of the month.

Also brought to the board table during last Wednesday’s board meeting was a bid authorization for the Hurst Middle School parking lot expansion project. The lowest acceptable bid was $703,525 from Byron E. Talbot Contractor Inc. About $250,000 of the money going towards the wing expansion at the school has already been allocated to the parking expansion.

Several major leaks in the Allemands Elementary roof also led to the board to authorize bids for a replacement.

The board also discussed the upcoming building of a land lab at Luling Elementary School which will soon be ready to go out for bids. The 5,000-square-foot building off of Sugarhouse Road will include a science lab, computer lab, classroom and multi-purpose area.

View other articles written Michelle Stuckey

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Sleet, light snow forecast tomorrow (Dec. 8)
Sleet, light snow forecast tomorrow (Dec. 8)
Although a winter weather advisory has not been issued for St. Charles Parish as of today, the parish's Emergency Operations Center is monitoring possible severe weather for tonight (Dec.7) and early morning (Dec. 8).

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