MERIDEN — The school building committee accepted a $3.7 million bid from Classic Turf Co, LLC of Woodbury to build new tracks and synthetic turf fields at Platt and Maloney high schools.
Project engineer Milone and McBroom, who reviewed the bids, recommended the company as the low bidder for the job, estimated to cost $4 million. The natural grass fields will be replaced with synthetic turf. The tracks were built in 1980.
Assistant Superintendent Mike Grove said a study completed four years ago found the tracks can’t be resurfaced because the material underneath is so deteriorated. The cost for Maloney is $1.84 million and the cost for Platt is $1.89 million.
A construction timetable was not available, Grove said.
The school building committee is expected to receive an update on the work tonight, Grove said.
Replacing the fields and tracks was not part of recently-completed major renovations at both schools. Construction on the $107.5 million renovation of Maloney High School was completed in 2016 and the $111.8 million renovation of Platt wrapped up in 2017. A total of $1.9 million is left in the Platt budget and $394,000 remains unspent for Maloney, according to Finance Director Michael Lupkas.
“When Platt and Maloney came in under budget we requested additional funding to reconstruct the tracks,” Grove said. “The price tag is now part of the total renovation costs.”
The City Council approved $2.2 million in bonding, with an interest rate between 3.5 and 4 percent, in October.
Coaches and athletic directors at both schools spoke during the approval process last year, telling city councilors that the tracks and fields present several safety and logistical problems for athletic teams, gym classes and other student groups that use the field, like the marching bands.
“... we don’t have a choice. They’re not safe,” City Councilor Brian Daniels told the council last year. “...It’s a matter of when, but it certainly has to get done, and probably should have gotten done five years ago.”
The school board is also set to begin replacement of the Hanover Elementary School roof at an estimated $1.8 million.