Bay High football field, parking lot still not ready
By Geoff Belcher
Jul 29, 2014, 20:33
A crew from Apple Construction works Tuesday on the security infrastructure in front of Bay High School. The project, which includes a new parking lot, lighting and an iron fence, is expected to be complete by Aug. 24.
Bay High School will be ready to open when the 2014-15 school year begins on Aug. 7, but it's parking lot and football field won't quite be finished yet.
The Bay-Waveland School Board of Trustees met in a recess session on Monday to iron out the details, voting to hire White Construction to help expedite the renovations at both J.D. McCullough Stadium and the entire front of the property at Bay High.
Major renovations have already been completed at J.D. McCullough Stadium, with improved structure and access, and new bleachers on both the home and visitor sides. The field itself was to be replaced with turf, a major upgrade that has been in the works since school ended in May. Over the summer, however, work crews hit a water table under that field and halted installation in June. Soil conditions also caused some delay, but an independent analysis from White Construction has confirmed that work is ready to resume.
Tracy Bailey of White Construction, which also oversaw renovations at the new Bay-Waveland District Office/Crossroads Learning Center in the old Bay Tech Building on Second Street, told board members Monday that work could resume as early as Tuesday.
Superintendent Dr. Rebecca Ladner said that the construction company will work overtime to expedite the renovations, possibly even having the field ready before Sept.26, the current expected completion date. In addition, she said, a new track is set to be installed following football season.
“In an effort to improve facilities for the students and community, we ran into some unforeseen conditions, but we're happy that the renovations are now back on track,” Ladner said. “The upgrades to the field are long overdue and once completed will be safer for our players and more cost-efficient for our district.”
The Tigers kick off their season at Biloxi High on Aug. 23, and the district is deciding now how to address the two home games scheduled for Aug. 29 (Purvis) and Sept. 19 (Hancock). It is likely the games will be played at alternate fields and stay on the schedule, Ladner said.
Division 8-4A home games are scheduled in October against St. Stanislas and Moss Point, at which time the field will be ready. Homecoming and senior night will be moved to the final two home games to assure that students can enjoy those activities, Ladner said.
Out in front of Bay High School, Apple Construction Co. is working overtime to complete the schools security infrastructure improvements, which include a new, bigger parking lot with much better lighting and an iron fence around the perimeter.
That project is now on track to be completed Aug. 24, Ladner said.
The board of trustees decided to overhaul the school's security structure last year after a string of nation-wide school shootings. Once the project is complete, Ladner said, "There will be one way in Bay High and one way out. It will enhance the looks, but the purpose was safety .. we made it as aesthetically pleasing as possible.
"There were so many open points at Bay High, the goal was to enclose it and give it a facelift at the same time."
Ladner said she and other district officials will meet with White Construction today to get an update and determine where students and faculty will park when school begins.
The alternate parking plan will be made public well before Aug. 7, she said.