Varsity Extra

$600,000 upgrades to Eagle High’s stadium still not finished, threatening track season

The long, triple and high jump pits at Eagle High are still not ready for the 2018 season six weeks ahead of the first practice. Sprinturf can’t finish the project until temperatures remain above freezing for a week, West Ada spokesman Eric Exline said.
The long, triple and high jump pits at Eagle High are still not ready for the 2018 season six weeks ahead of the first practice. Sprinturf can’t finish the project until temperatures remain above freezing for a week, West Ada spokesman Eric Exline said. mlycklama@idahostatesman.com

Another round of construction delays is threatening its second sport of the school year at Eagle High.

Seven months after construction began, a stadium upgrade project at Eagle High worth more than $600,000 remains unfinished, putting the Mustangs’ home track season in jeopardy.

With the first practice scheduled for Feb. 23, the areas that host the pits for the school’s long, triple and high jumps are not ready. And the West Ada School District will need to wait for a week when the low temperature does not drop below freezing to finish the project, district spokesman Eric Exline said.

“What you’re probably looking for is often in this valley we have a pretty good thaw in February, so you’re looking to jump on that,” Exline said.

The average low temperature does not rise above 32 degrees in Boise until March 5, according to historical data.

The delay stems from the improvements the district opted to make at Eagle while replacing the school’s artificial turf football field this summer. The $621,204 contract with Sprinturf estimated it’d cost $130,000 to pave the “D zones” — the semicircles between the end zones and the curves of the track — with rubberized asphalt to match the surface of the track.

But as of Wednesday, only asphalt covered the D-zones. The layers of rubber on top of the asphalt that allow track spikes to dig into the surface are not complete.

“It was available to be done from the start of the football season to date, but they didn’t get it done,” Exline said.

The West Ada Board of Trustees originally terminated its contract with Sprinturf on Dec. 12 due to the delay. But after learning Sprinturf’s subcontractor was the only company that could complete the project in the Treasure Valley, the district reinstated the contract at a special board meeting Tuesday, Exline said.

The track is not the first delay West Ada has faced with Sprinturf at Eagle. The contract required the South Carolina-based company to substantially complete the project by Aug. 4. But it didn’t finish replacing the artificial turf field until two hours before the Mustangs’ home football opener on Aug. 25. At one point, it appeared that game would have to be moved.

As part of the contract, Sprinturf was fined $1,000 each day the field was late for a total of $21,000.

Sprinturf also installed the new turf field at Meridian High in the summer of 2016. And the turf field at Rocky Mountain, installed in 2008, is due to be replaced in the next year or two.

Michael Lycklama: 208-377-6424, @MichaelLycklama

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