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Torrington Turf Committee looking for contractor to catch up on THS project.

POSTED July 22, 2014
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

Work on the Torrington High School Turf and Track project is behind schedule but a comeback has been promised by the contractor. October 6, 2014 is the date all are shooting for.

TORRINGTON: It’s taken the better part of seven years for the Torrington Turf Committee to see their project start to come to life.

They are not about to stop making sure it get completed on time and on budget.

The nearly 3 million dollar Turf and Track project at Torrington High School is not exactly moving along at a sprinters pace at the moment.

In fact, the project is close to three weeks behind schedule for the proposed date of completion on October 6, 2014.

Members of the Turf Committee met on Tuesday morning with H.I. Stone representative Carl Rosa for their weekly update session and asked some hard questions.

After a fast start (knocking things down and digging them up is the fun part) the project seems to have been slowed by issues that seem easy enough to fix, hence the tone of Tuesday’s meeting in which it was asked how Stone was going to get the project back on schedule.

Drainage issues have been one cause of the slowdown, it all needs to be completed before the electricians can come in and do their work and the track itself started.

It’s a step by step process, everybody gets that. It’s the pace that is concerning.

At present, good size boulders have been removed from the area where the turf will be laid down, more will be removed as when work starts again on the field.

The tree line near Route 8 has been dramatically cut back to make room for the eight lane track and a new area for the field events during track season.

On Tuesday during the meeting, workers from Stone were working on both the drainage and the outline of the track, which will be pushed farther back towards the light polls where the new bleachers and press box will be.

Large piles of small rocks are present in two areas of the field, they will be used under both the track and field portions.

What has frustrated the Committee is the fact that they seem to be going over the same issues in their weekly meetings, only to find out that not only have they not been rectified but more time had been lost.

Making up almost three weeks of work will not be easy but the committee got assurances from Stone that the project would be on time.

Financial penalties would kick in for every day the project goes past the committed completion date but that is the last thing the Turf Committee wants. They just want it done on time.

Schedules are being redone by Athletic Director Mike McKenna with the hope that the Raiders football team would still be able to open the home portion of their schedule on Friday, October 10 against Derby.

The Raiders will lose home games versus Woodland on September 19 and against Oxford on September 26.

The first girls home varsity soccer match is scheduled for October 6 versus Watertown while the boys are slated to kick off their home slate on October 7 versus Naugatuck.

A brand new gate entrance will be added as part of the project as well, welcoming fans into the complex through large gates will multiple pillars giving the entrance a sharper look than the present fencing.

One new feature for track fans will be a separate runway that will be used for the sprint events on the home sideline, not on the far side under the trees as it had been for years.

Shot put and discus will still be on the far side but in their own new area away from the tree line which has been dramatically moved back.

The committee was hoping to see renewed progress by the end of next week, the first of August. Critics have said that this might not get done until next spring.

Not the words this determined Turf Committee wants to hear nor will it accept.

Who doesn’t like a good comeback story? Let’s hope H.I. Stone can pull it off.

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