Fridley Field remains closed for track work

Thursday, September 5, 2019 | 12:01 AM

Use of the track and turf at Fridley Field in Hampton will remain off-limits for the time being as work continues.

While the homecoming game against Fox Chapel at 7 p.m. on Sept. 20 is still expected, access to the fields will be monitored and controlled, according to discussion at the Sept. 4 Hampton Township School Board work session at the middle school.

The turf that was also being updated is finished, according to Tom Durkin of VEBH Architects, who provided an update to the board last week. All testing and review of the field after its construction shows good results, he said.

TPK Inc. and ATT Sports are both the companies awarded work on the projects. The total cost is estimated at $968,000, per an online report of the June school board meeting.

The track installation is expected to begin this week, said Durkin.

However, Durkin requested access to the track to be closely monitored as “it’s very sensitive to debris.”

The school website has a notice on the track’s closure to the public and outside groups.

There is a 16-day installation timeline, and completion is expected by the end of September. However, this timeline could be affected by the weather. Bill Cardone, athletic director for Hampton school district, said most likely work would not be done during inclement weather.

Cardone confirmed the field will be closely monitored and ATT Sports will communicate with the district on scheduling of work.

“We’re going to control what can be done on that track,” he said. This will even include how or when the band can access it, cheering activities, and more.

Soccer typically has more balls that pass outside of the field and possibly onto the track, said Cardone. So they “flipped” some of the home games at the beginning of the season to the end of the season. But they did manage to have a few this month prior to construction.

And they plan to have access points to get to the field, such as plywood or mats.

But others seeking to use the area are just going to have to wait.

“We can’t let outside groups use the track. It’s still a construction zone,” said Cardone. “We’ve got one of the best tracks around.”

The track and turf were two of three major summer projects for the district with the third being the roof replacement at Central Elementary. Rick Farino, district building and grounds supervisor, said the project is on schedule with a completion estimation of Oct. 15.

The roof replacement had a bid award amount of $798,391 and awarded to David M. Maines Assoc. Inc. This big ticket item should be worth the cost, said Farino.

“It’s a good application. We’re comfortable it’s going to hold 20 years,” he said.