WENTWORTH — RCHS didn’t get the answers they were hoping for in regards to proposed renovations to the track that surrounds Cougar Pride Stadium at the Rockingham County Board of Education meeting on Monday night.

Dr. Sonja Parks, the assistant superintendent of operations & logistics for the county, originally presented the plan for renovation at the Rockingham County Board of Education meeting on June 10. At that meeting Parks introduced Timmons Group engineer and project manager Adam Carroll, who is designing the plan and working with Parks on the assignment.

A pre-bid meeting was held on June 25 where three contractors were in attendance, but at the end of the day, there were no bids, and the team was left with more questions than answers.

“It’s not good news. We did not get anybody to bid on the project which we were all shocked about. We knew going in it was a tough bid climate and an aggressive schedule, but we had three very gauged bidders that were asking questions all the way till the end that verbally said they were planning to bid,” said Carroll.

Originally, the team hoped to begin demolition of the current track, followed by installation of the new one, beginning in August. There was no time table on exactly how long the entire project would take since that would vary depending on the contractor’s time table, football season as well as external factors that often affect construction projects such as weather.

Proposal for Renovation

The initial proposal for renovation of the track included a new rubberized surface over asphalt, much like the current exterior, but school officials wanted to make sure the cause of the massive deterioration that initially caused the damage was addressed so it does not happen again moving forward.

Erosion by water, which resulted from poor field drainage, caused cracks in the asphalt that led to holes in the surface at various sections all around the track. The damage was so bad that school and North Carolina High School Athletic Association officials deemed the track unfit for competition several years ago.

Parks said that after examining the track, approximately 80% of the surface is severely distressed. In addition, the underlying pavement is splitting beneath at various points around the circumference of the track and she said that it needs to be repaired.

The demolition plan includes removing the damaged existing rubber surface, leveling it, and then adding an inch, to an or an inch and a half of additional concrete followed by a 30 day curing phase in order to provide a new stable and level foundation. The high jump area is also set to be removed and replaced as well. Another important phase of the plan is to take out the defective drainage system and install removable surface drains that can be pulled out and cleaned.

After the curing phase is completed, a new rubber surface is proposed to be installed which could take up to a week and a half Carroll said. The final phase would include painting the lanes.

Parks said the project could cost as much as $350,000, but it won’t be possible to give an accurate estimate until the contractor determines how much concrete, if any, will need to be removed.

Carroll said a number of different factors can come into play when it comes to contractors and construction projects such as time constraints and the company’s work load often affect whether or not a bid is placed or not.

For now, the plan is to advertize as a re-bid at a later time if none of the current prospective contractors reconsider.

“We still feel that there will be substantial interest in the project once we can reconvene and get people back on the hook. We think it will be a good project and we will get some competitive bids,” said Carroll.

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Contact Jim Sands at 336-314-1058 or on Twitter @jimsandsRCN.  

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