BRICK – The Brick High School outdoor track was in such a state of disrepair that no home track events had been held there for over 10 years, officials said. Parts of the track were even coned off and unusable for gym classes because of pitting and flooding issues.
The good news is, the Board of Education prioritized the project for the 2016/2017 school year budget, and a new $861,100 track was installed there this summer.
There’s also bad news: due to a technicality, the track might have to be ripped up and replaced.
According to acting Superintendent Dennis Filippone, there was an error made when the track was constructed. The company that did the asphalt made the lanes 40 inches wide instead of 41 inches wide.
“So we are in the process of working through our attorney with that company, and our position is, at this point, that we want what we paid for, so there may have to be a major renovation to the existing track this summer after all the athletic events are done,” said Filippone during the December Board of Education meeting.
Resident Walter Campbell, who chaired the Facilities Committee when he served on the Brick Board of Education from June 2010 until December 2011, questioned the administration for hiring the lowest bidder for the job.
“The most important part of that whole track was the paving,” he said during public comment.
Business Administrator James Edwards said the school district was required to hire the lowest responsible bidder for the project.
That’s true, said School Board Attorney Nicholas Montenegro.
“When there are construction projects similar to the Brick High School track, there are statutory rules for the submission of bids, and who is defined as the lowest responsible bidder,” Montenegro said, and the rules cover the circumstances under which the district could reject a bid and go to the next higher bid.
There are no drainage issues, as Campbell had suggested, just a circumference issue, Edwards said.
“The track actually is too narrow to get the proper-sized lanes in. The drainage in the inside curve as constructed is not a problem,” the business administrator said.
Campbell asked if any of the professionals had been overseeing the job as it was being built.
Edwards said the architect and the engineer supervised the job, and they are the ones who picked up that the circumference was not correct.
“How does something like that happen?” Campbell asked.
The contractor built the circumference of the track too small, which is why they had to put in narrow lines, and the district would have it corrected in the summer of 2018, Edwards said.
“Where were the architects?” Campbell asked. “Why weren’t they supervising it in the initial phases? That’s not something you can just let go on its own.”
A March 3, 2017 contract was signed between the school district and Netta Architects for a complete athletic running track demolition and replacement (6 lanes and high jump/pole vault) including new asphalt base, new gravel sub-base and new synthetic running surface.
When bids for the paving job were opened on May 23, 2017, All Surface Asphalt Paving was the lowest of four bids at $587,400. The highest bid was $746,470.