Moon school officials may file claim for field
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Unsatisfied with progress toward correcting issues at the new and yet unused high school baseball field, Moon Area officials are considering filing a claim on the performance bond provided by the original contractor.
The field, which was built as part of the new high school building project completed in January 2011, is unusable because of what district officials are calling "[water] ponding issues" and "dips in the outfield" making it unsafe for play. And, paint is fading and peeling on the exterior of the dugouts..
Last month, directors presented construction managers with a list of 20 issues with the field in hopes of having these problems rectified for spring baseball season. Issues at the district's new softball field are minimal, which allowed the high school team to play a full season there last year.
The arguments have gone on for months with contractors saying the field has been built to specifications and district officials saying the field is unsafe for play.
Growing weary of finger-pointing, Director Jerry Testa suggested the district look into pulling the performance bonds on the project.
"The performance was not met. Those bonds could make it right," he said. Performance bonds ensure payment of a sum not to exceed original bid price in case a contractor fails to fully perform contractual duties.
"I say, let's get legal involved," Director Ron Steele said.
The general contractor for the high school project was Nello Construction, with subcontracting work on the ball fields by Executive Landscaping.
"Right now, I am trying to find solutions," said William Cook, a construction manager with the middle school project. Mr. Cook, with J.C. Pierce of New Castle, was not involved with the high school building project.
Executive Landscaping has offered to make repairs to the field by allowing the district to use the remaining $9,500 available to them through their contract. The repairs would not be made by them, but by another company of the district's choosing.
S&S Processing Inc., an athletic field specialty firm, came to the district last week to inspect the baseball field. Mr. Cook reported to the district Monday that S&S Processing had found the field to be acceptable except for one section near right field where the field has drainage issues. The firm also pointed out that the outfield was approximately 70 percent weeds.
"We lost last season. I don't want to lose another season," said Mr. Testa. "I want a solution. I don't want a stop gap where we are doing this every year."
Solicitor Alfred Maiello said his firm would meet with district officials as soon as possible to go over the performance bond issue.
First Published October 11, 2012 4:43 am