Plans For New Running Track Ready To Bid
By: Mary Stanley
The group overseeing the construction of a new sports complex at Sandwich High School is poised to accept bids for the first part of the project.
Last week, David J. DeConto, chairman of the Sandwich Sports Complex Committee, said he is preparing to issue a Request for Proposals seeking bids in December with the hope of awarding a contract after the first of the year.
Mr. DeConto told selectmen last Thursday night that he is hoping that the two-month-long project will begin some time in the spring, “after the weather breaks.”
For now, he said the interior football field that was reseeded this fall has a good natural grass base that will last until the committee can raise the funds to cover the cost of artificial turf.
Mr. DeConto went on to say that the committee has decided to scale back the first phase of this project, which called for a new track, walkways, fence, and lights. The lights and fence have been moved out of the phase and put at the top of the list for the second phase of the project, reducing the estimated cost for this phase from $1.1 million to approximately $800,000. “This way, we are guaranteed to have the funds to cover [the cost of the track] and to hire a project manager,” he said.
Mr. DeConto said, earlier this year, when a water pipe was moved out from near the existing track over toward the baseball field to accommodate a larger new track, he served as the project manager on that small task. He said despite the support and cooperation from many of the town departments involved in this water pipe portion of the project,
including the engineering department and the Sandwich Water District, it did require one person to coordinate all of the work and oversee the project and it was very time-consuming. He said, given the scope of the work involved in replacing the track, it would be better to hire a project manager to oversee that phase of the project.
Mr. DeConto added that he and the members of the sports complex committee are optimistic that once the first phase of the project is completed and people see the new track in place, fundraising for the second phase of the project may be a bit easier.
The track at the high school was condemned eight years ago because of cracks in the surface and grass growing in-between those cracks. The original committee that was formed to raise money to replace the track noticed that the interior playing field also needed improvements. For the past seven years, the committee has been raising money through grant applications and other events to create a stadium complex, complete with bleachers, press box, lighting, and walking paths for community use.
Funding has come from a variety of sources, including a $250,000 donation from the DeConto family, in memory of Captain Gerald F. DeConto, a Navy captain killed in the attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
In addition to that donation, the community preservation committee has promised $500,000 from CPC funds to replace the track.
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