Work on Pinelands High School Projects Is Behind Schedule

Junior High Building on Target for September
Jul 25, 2018
Pat Johnson

Work is underway at the Pinelands Regional School District campus as the district and its construction professionals attempt to complete the bulk of the $53.6 million in projects approved by voters in January 2017.

Brian Moore of Epic Construction Management updated the Pinelands Regional Board of Education at its meeting Wednesday, July 18.

“As you can tell, we’ve been really busy for the past month,” said Moore. “School ended on the 22nd (of June); the senior school was emptied on the 30th. The projects we have going on, just a quick summary: The junior high school, we have a roof that has a section to complete; they commenced on the 12th of this month and they’ll be done by Aug. 3. That means the whole roof of the junior high school will be complete. Driving up, as you can tell, the modular complex (temporary classrooms for junior high and high school students to share the junior high while the high school is closed the entire 2018-19 school year for construction) is going very well right now. The construction fencing will be coming down by the end of this week, the sidewalk is going to go in next week, so we’re targeting to commence the township inspections by around Aug. 6. So we should be within the target time to have it ready for school opening.”

But some bumps have already appeared in the road. The work at the high school building – both the outdoor masonry restoration and the indoor ductwork – is still in the evaluation stage. The high school never was expected to reopen until September 2019. The district’s tennis courts, on the other hand, were expected to be ready for use by the beginning of the 2018-19 school year, and four upstairs restrooms in the junior high building were originally scheduled to be rehabbed by this September as well.

The base of the district’s tennis courts had already been laid down, and Moore told the board the asphalt was going to be laid the next two days. But it takes time for that asphalt to cure. Then another layer, a “tennis court finish,” has to be applied above the asphalt. Moore told the board that the tennis court project probably wouldn’t get done until late September, meaning the girls team will have to find alternate accommodations when the season starts.

PRSD Athletic Director Will Sundermann was at the meeting and told the board the girls were currently practicing at Ocean County’s Tip Seaman Park and some games might have to be rescheduled for the early part of the season, turning home games into away games.

As for the four junior high restrooms, Moore said the problem was that a contract for them hadn’t been signed until June. The materials that needed to be ordered couldn’t be purchased and transported quickly enough to arrive in time to assure the job could be done by September. So the current restrooms will be made operable again, but the complete rehab job won’t be done until next summer.

Back at the board’s June 4 meeting, another Epic representative, Bill Costello, had told the board, “I gotta tell you, it’s an extremely aggressive schedule.” In the case of the tennis courts and junior high restrooms, the schedule has already proven to be overly aggressive. It’s to be expected that parents, students, teachers, administrators and, especially, the school board will monitor the situation very closely to make sure they’re not surprised by a more important delay, one than might keep the high school from opening in September 2019.

— Rick Mellerup

(Photo by: Pat Johnson)
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