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Athletic project on track

Phase one of complex in McDonald to finish by end of the month

092320...R McD TURF 1...McDonald...09-23-20...Laborers Oliver Baronick, left, and James Hunter of Sprinturf LLC. of Charleston SC use a stitching machine to stitch the artificial turf panels together on the football field at the new McDonald athletic complex...by R. Michael Semple

McDONALD — With plans to have students running on a new eight-lane track next spring and football games played on the field next August, the first phase of the new athletic complex project is being completed this month.

On Wednesday, turf was being laid by Sprinturf LLC of Charleston, South Carolina. Superintendent Kevin O’Connell said the next move is asphalt surfacing of the all-weather track.

“It is exciting to see the turf going in. Phase one is almost completed. We will then begin the next phase of the project, which is bleachers, lights, and locker room,” O’Connell said.

The project also includes stadium, grandstand, goal post, playing fields, parking lot, band shelter, tree-line buffer, areas for shot put and discus throws, and 4-foot fencing around the complex.

O’Connell said the project is on schedule with plans to have students practicing at the site for athletic events next spring and football games to be held there next summer. No track meets will be held at the site next spring, but the eight-lane track will be allowed to be used for events. O’Connell has said sidewalks around the entire complex would allow viewing from any spot and easy access to other locations.

GPD Architects did the design plans for the project to be built off Second Street. The target completion date is spring 2021.

Officials have previously said the second phase will include lights and the grandstand at an estimated cost of $240,000. The third phase will be the concession stand / locker room and restroom building at an estimated cost of $500,000.

The project comes from a levy passed by voters in November 2016, which is paying for the majority of the complex estimated at just over $2.5 million. Earlier this summer, trees on the property were taken down, and dirt was removed from the site.

“We are pleased with the progress that has been made,” said board member Thomas Hannon.

A drone video of the complex’s progress appears on the district’s website.

At the September meeting, the board approved athletic complex change orders including catch basin work for $2,310, additional tree clearing and detention basin at $7,500 and additional tree clearing along McDonald Avenue at $6,500.

In other matters, board member Joseph Cappuzzello said he and board member Jody Klase met with village council members Ray Lewis and Sean Schmidt to discuss an agreement for the school to use village property, such as playing fields and park, for events.

The village is asking the school district to contribute $13,500. In August, Village Council voted 6-0 to terminate the current facility-use agreement, effective Dec. 31.

“They have heard our concerns, and we will wait to hear back from them. We will work toward a common goal,” Cappuzzello said.

Cappuzzello said there has also been talks of the village and schools jointly taking care of the baseball and softball fields.

The board heard from O’Connell that the former Roosevelt School property has been divided into 12 plots, which will be put up for sale. Information has been given to the Trumbull County auditor’s office.

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