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Bids open again for Pivik practice field

| Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Shane McMasters wants a practice field at the new Pivik Elementary School ready by August.

“We want them to be able to use the field by the next school year,” said McMasters, chairman of Plum School Board's facilities committee.

The revised timetable follows the Plum School Board's 8-0 vote last week to reject bids for work to develop the field. Initially, the board had been aiming for the field to be ready for the spring season.

McMasters said the bid specifications did not have the amount of detail officials had intended, resulting in the bid amounts ranging from $35,000 to $80,000.

McMasters said the specifications will be revised, and the district will obtain new estimates.

Officials plan to develop a portion of flat ground behind the school into a practice field for various sports and activities. McMasters estimates this could be done at a miminal cost.

“There will be grading, grass planted and goals (for soccer) put up,” McMasters said. “We will line it and use it for playing soccer and a play area.”

Work also would include installing drainage areas and fencing, McMasters said, and he envisions adding storage sheds.

The ground behind the new school was a topic of much board discussion over the past couple 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 former Pivik 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.

District Athletic Director Bob Alpino would welcome a practice field, particularly because the new school was built at the location of the former varsity soccer field.

Alpino said 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, adding many groups also could use it.

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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