By J.W. Schnarr
With rain and other delays securely behind them, the new field at W.R. Myers High School and D.A. Ferguson Middle School is just about ready to go.
Originally scheduled to be finished in time for the beginning of the school year, Wilco Tymensen, School Superintendent, said sod has now been laid, and the field itself could be weeks away from use.
“Our intent was to have that field ready for the start of the school year,” he said, noting the weather issues and other time commitments by the contractor had been the main issues for the delays.
“The field was so muddy (from rain) they weren’t able to get onto it, and it caused unanticipated delays,” he said.
With the sod laid, crews are now busy watering and tending to the grass in order for it to take root.
“We feel we will have a superior field for future use,” said Tymensen.
While the field was out of commission, Tymensen said outdoor activities have been limited to using Ken McDonald Park for some classes, and in some cases even using fields from other schools such as nearby Central School. Other times, students have simply taken their activities indoors.
“That’s something you’d do in the winter anyway,” said Tymensen.
The project was greenlit in order to deal with drainage issues on the field, as standing water after weather events caused a lot of mud, which adversely affected how the field was used by students. The students would track the material into the school, causing an unsightly mess. An underground drainage system has been built to ensure the field will no longer have pooling issues. They have also taken this time to build a paved walking path for the students around the outside of the field, which will benefit the local community as well.
“(The walking path) deals with safety issues, if you have students jogging or going for walks,” he said. “I think as well, it will enhance the community because after hours, community members can go for a walk if they wish.”
“Overall, we wanted to ensure we provide a superior field not only for school use, but for groups as well, and that can be utilized by community members in terms of their active lifestyle.”
No official date has been set for the field’s completion for school use, though a facilities department report obtained by The Times noted expected completion was for mid-September, though major sporting activities will not be permitted for the remainder of the year.