Turf in the future for PNG baseball/softball fields
Published 11:19 pm Tuesday, October 4, 2016
PORT NECHES — Baseball and softball players at Port Neches-Groves High School will see some major upgrades to their fields, hopefully before the new season begins.
Trustees with Port Neches-Groves Independent School District are mulling between AstroTurf and Hellas Construction to lay turf at the fields, update fencing and concrete work.
On Tuesday, Jeff Bergeron, director of maintenance/operations for the district, presented preliminary proposals from a number of different companies specializing in turf, and trustees weeded the list down to the two companies, both of which have a long list of accomplishments.
One problem is that both companies need more information from the district to go forward with a more accurate proposal including cost.
“The geo-tech report is pretty much the key to what they’re doing,” Bergeron told trustees. “We don’t want them to say they will do the project for X amount then bam, they add $300,000 to go deeper.”
A geo-tech report, or soil sample report, was not available to the district, so the companies did not have that information when they presented preliminary proposals. The report is now in, Bergeron said.
The geo-tech info will tell contractors how deep into the soil they must go to lay the turf.
Trustees are battling a strict timeline to choose a company and get the work done before spring. Should the project go forward but become delayed due to inclement weather, then there could be problems with baseball and softball practices and games.
Trustee Eric Sullivan explained that if this happens, the boys could play baseball at a nearby pony field.
The problem lies in where the girls would play. Ford Park is suitable for the girls to play but is in Beaumont.
Funding for the project is another issue. A preliminary cost figure comes in around $2.3 million. The district is already facing a deficit budget of more than $2 million.
To fund the project, the district may pull excess money from the workman’s comp fund and the fund balance.
Trustees first discussed the issue during a September board meeting. Discussion will continue during a meeting on Monday.
Mary Meaux: 409-721-2429