EAST PROVIDENCE — The district is taking a measured, deliberate approach toward remedying the situation with the sink hole around the base of a light pole at the athletics stadium on new East …
EAST PROVIDENCE — The district is taking a measured, deliberate approach toward remedying the situation with the sink hole around the base of a light pole at the athletics stadium on new East Providence High School grounds.
That’s how Director of Facilities Christopher Murphy described the situation during his monthly department report to the School Committee at its October 11 meeting.
Murphy said the damaged drain pipe, which created the hole following successive torrential rain events some six weeks ago now, has been isolated and the surrounding sections have been inspected and “determined to be in good shape.” A supplier has been contacted in order to obtain the needed replacement section so it can be ready when the strategy to make the necessary fix is finalized.
The director continued, saying a repair sketch has been devised by Parr Engineering, which was subcontracted for its portion of the overall high school project by lead contractor Gilbane. Murphy said Coastal Engineering Co. has been hired as a third-party to work on the district’s behalf with Gilbane/Parr and Musco Sports Lighting, which installed the posts and fixtures.
Murphy emphasized Musco must sign off on any plans to remedy the situation to make sure the warranty remains. He said a Musco light pole engineer must determine “if the base has been compromised in any manner”… The base “must be found in good order before moving forward.”
Murphy said the interested parties held a conference call with the Musco engineers on October 11 and the latter were expected file a report from their perspective by the at the end of last week, October 14.
In general, the director explained his department is “moving forward in a judicious and careful manner…It’s not something we want to be hasty about.”
Murphy added, “Even though we have a sense of urgency I’m not going to hurry through something just to get it done…We’ve got to make very, very sure that this repair is done correctly.”
It is unlikely any football games will be played at the stadium the rest of the 2022 season. Committee chair Joel Monteiro noted the reason why football would not have games there while the EPHS soccer teams are playing at the stadium is because of crowd size and lighting concerns for the former.
The Townies will continue to use their old home of Pierce Memorial Stadium to host their October 21 Division II league game against Burrillville and their traditional Thanksgiving Day football contest with LaSalle on November 24.
Other athletic notes
Murphy told the committee the last aspect of the new fields component of the high school project, installation of the artificial turf softball diamond, is expected to be finished, barring weather delays, by Saturday, Oct. 16.
Also, the director said the district has taken formal ownership of the six, lighted tennis courts at the northwest corner of the property. The complex is already being used by the EPHS girls’ tennis team this fall as well as physical education classes.
EPHS soap dispensers
Murphy also explained to the committee 22 hand soap dispensers vandalized beyond repair during the 2021-22 term have been removed and replaced in recent weeks at a cost of $185 per unit plus labor.
The director said the LED lighting project at Riverside Middle School is expected to begin shortly. The district is in receipt of the fixtures, but a schedule needed to be devised so as to not affect classes.
In addition, Murphy said the district received a grant toward purchase and installation of new ceramics kiln at RMS, which will fund all of the components from the piece itself to all the associated safety elements.
Murphy highlighted a project to bring three roof top air conditioning units at Martin Middle School, often in distress, back on line by district employees was recently completed.
The director saluted the work of master plumber Paul Santos, master electrician Rich Bianco and HVAC specialist Glen Costa, an effort that began last spring. He speculated the trio performed the repairs at about
20 percent of the cost if the district had solicited outside vendors. Murphy pegged the savings at between $60,000-$70,000.
“I tip my hat to those gentlemen who brought their skills to bear for the benefit of this district and everyone in this community…A job well, well done…Nice job those guys,” Murphy said.
The director said his department has started a rather large project of moving district records from City Hall, where they were kept while the department was housed there, to storage spaces created in the new administrative building situated in the old Career and Tech Center on the high school campus.
And also of note, Murphy said the sidewalk repair project at Hennessey Elementary School, halted for a bit, is expected to restart in the next few weeks. It will then take about three weeks thereafter to finish.