Northampton Press

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Bright lights, big sign for NASD campus

Thursday, July 17, 2014 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

Friday night lights could get a lot brighter at Al Erdosy Stadium in Northampton.

A new marquee in front of Northampton Area High School may tout student accomplishments.

And Northampton Area School District students and residents may be able to pay their respects to those who've gone before.

These are three of the finishing touches under consideration for the $80.7-million Northampton Area Middle School and Secondary Campus Renovation Project.

Nearly $1 million for the supplemental projects would come from the contingency fund, the NASD board of education was told Monday night.

"This will not add to the project," said NASD Superintendent Joseph Kovalchik.

The project contingency fund is $4.1 million. With $955,500 for the five projects, the contingency fund would still have about $3.1 million left.

"We were concerned that there would be anything at that site that would cost a lot of money," Kovalchik said at the July 14 board meeting in explaining why the administration waited until now to announce the use of the contingency fund for the added projects.

School board President David Gogel said there have been no change-orders, which might have required dipping into the contingency fund.

"We won't need the money," said project architect Jay Clough, Principal at KCBA Architects, noting that 14 months into the project, excavation work is all but complete.

"It took us 20 years to get here. I don't want to give up any of the five. As far as I'm concerned, it's a go," said school board member Jean Rundle.

The agenda for the next school board meeting, 6:30 p.m. July 28, is expected to include the following supplemental projects and costs:

· Four stadium poles and lights: $475,000. The project, if approved, would begin in spring 2015. Six light poles, which are 50 years old, and light fixtures, which are 20 years old, would be removed. The light poles are deteriorating. Lighting is inadequate.

"That can create hazards for athletics because of shadows," said Christopher W. Haller, senior project manager, D'Huy Engineering Inc.

The new lights will save energy for expanded use, because of new artificial turf and track, for football, soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, track, band and cheerleading practice, physical education classes, as well as for sports contests and community events.

"The notion that it's a football stadium is incorrect. This isn't just for the football team," said Kovalchik.

A 25-year labor and materials warranty with Musco Sports Lighting LLC, which may install the poles and lights, is recommended.

"It takes the liability away from the district," said Clough.

· Lights at a new sports field: $350,000. The project, if approved, would begin in spring 2016. Soccer, field hockey and lacrosse practice and games, middle school physical education and community use is envisioned.

"When [community] events are held there, there will be a fee. That is a policy that will be developed," Kovalchik said.

Musco Sports Lighting LLC, may also install the poles and lights. The fenced and gated field is to include a scoreboard, bleacher area and graded area for blankets.

· NAHS marquee: $65,000. The project, if approved, would begin in summer 2015. A new, 24-foot long sign, with 4-foot by 8-foot double-sided LED display, would be moved toward the main campus entrance.

"The main problem is you can't read it. It's turned the wrong way. And it's way too small. It's not a good representation of this school district," Kovalchik said of the high school sign intended to be replaced.

The sign could display graphics, including student accomplishments, and possibly advertising.

· Memorial area at high school: $48,000. The project, if approved, would begin in summer 2015. The area would be at the school's east-side entrance at the cafeteria. Three benches would be placed there.

"Unfortunately, we have teachers and students who have passed on while in the district," Kovalchik said.

Construction and disease have decimated memorial trees that were planted.

· Donor paver area at Erdosy stadium entrance: $17,500. The project, if approved, would begin in summer 2015. Approximately 4,200 bricks could be engraved and sold as a fundraiser for the Konkrete Kids Educational Foundation.