Burrell School District grappling with major swimming pool and track repair issues
Burrell School District officials are facing the prospect of extensive repairs or even replacement of two athletic facilities.
Superintendent Shannon Wagner said circumstances with the swimming pool and high school track will need to be addressed.
Wagner said the swimming pool has been out of commission for about four weeks, since pipes that circulate the water through the pool area burst.
That forced the cancellation of swimming classes and raised questions about the upcoming season for the swim team.
She said some repairs have been done in-house by school district maintenance personnel who replaced old pipes that can be accessed with plastic pipes at a cost of about $2,700. The condition of pipes that are encased in concrete remain a question mark, she said.
“Those pipes are about 58 years old,” Wagner said, referring to when the high school opened.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the repair work that was done appeared to be working.
“It’s running right now; it’s circulating water,” she said.
But she said the district will wait to make sure the repairs hold before deciding if the pool is ready to use.
In the meantime, she said the athletic director has been in touch with the athletic director at neighboring New Kensington-Arnold School District to see if the district can work out a backup plan using the pool at Valley High School if needed.
“We won’t be doing (specifications) or bids until the spring if we decide to do it then,” Wagner said. “It may not be until 2020.”
The track issue
As for the track, drainage issues are creating a problem, according to Wagner, as storm runoff is pooling at places around the track.
“It’s lifting the surface and damaging the surface,” she said. “The track, we’re going to repair it for the spring. We’ve got to do something.
“If we do anything on it this spring or summer, we’ll have to move on it in January or February.”
She said the district’s architect is working on the options available and their costs.
“Next week, I’ll hit you with the numbers, and we can go from there,” Wagner told the school board Tuesday night.
Tom Yerace is a freelance writer.