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School board explores building field at new Pivik

| Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, 10:21 p.m.

The new Pivik Elementary School has an expansive gymnasium and outdoor play area for children to participate in physical activities.

Plum School Board members are looking to make the site even more attractive by developing a portion of land behind the school into a practice field for various sports and activities.

To that end, the board, during last week's meeting, voted to advertise for bids to develop the practice field at the new school.

“We don't want the community to think it would just be for soccer,” said Plum School Board member Shane McMasters who chairs the facilities committee. “It would be a multi-purpose field.”

McMasters estimates developing a portion of the property into a practice field could be done at a “miminal cost.”

“There wouldn't be a lot of grading,” he said.

In addition to some grading of the site, the work would include installing drainage areas and fencing, McMasters said.

McMasters also envisions adding some sheds for storage as well as soccer goals.

Board member Sal Colella said a parking area also is a possibility at the site.

“We want to give the community the opportunity to use it,” Colella said.

The flat ground behind the new school was a topic of much discussion among board members over the past couple of years.

Some board members proposed installing artificial turf and developing the area for the girls softball team. The team had played on a field at the old Pivik Elementary School.

The cost of artificial turf, nearly $1 million, swayed board members against the proposal.

Instead, the board voted to develop a girls softball field adjacent to the boys baseball field at the high school at a cost of about $300,000.

McMasters hopes to have the practice field at Pivik ready for use by spring.

The new school was built at the location of the former varsity soccer field.

Plum athletic director Bob Alpino said the soccer teams for the past two seasons have practiced at various locations.

“The grass practice field will be a welcome and much-needed addition for our boys and girls high school soccer teams,” Alpino said.

Additionally, Alpino sees the practice field as a benefit to many groups.

“This new grass area at Pivik will provide an additional play area for the Pivik Elementary students and for community use as well,” Alpino said.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8753, or kzapf@tribweb.com.

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