NORTH ATTLEBORO — The school department faces well over $1 million in work in the near future, most of that at the new $1.2 million artificial turf athletic field at the high school, which the football team has been unable to use for games.
A rough estimate to build new bleachers at the field has come in at about $1 million and a new track around the field is also needed, officials announced at Monday’s school committee meeting. The track is pegged at over $500,000, they said.
On top of that, some schools need roof work.
While leaks at the Amvet and Community schools have been brought under control, the roof at Community is at the end of its lifespan, school Superintendent Scott Holcomb said.
Holcomb said the needs must be prioritized as there is only so much money available, including the town’s borrowing capacity. School officials are looking to have a facilities assessment conducted.
Roof work to secure the integrity of schools is obviously a priority, officials acknowledged.
New bleachers, which would include 1,500 home seats and 500 visitor seats, similar to what Attleboro High School has at its new field, would cost about $935,000.
Just as the 50-year-old bleachers had outlived their usefulness, so has the track, which is at the end of its 20-year lifespan, Holcomb said.
Estimates to replace the track are about $525,000, and upgrading to a track that should last 25 to 30 years would run about $680,000.
Holcomb noted the track is used by gym students, school athletes and the community.
School board member Talia Yourell questioned if the track was still safe, and the superintendent said he would allow his son to use it. Facilities and grounds director Kyle Kummer said he and a consultant were scheduled to inspect the track Tuesday.
School committee members did support the recommendation of Holcomb to move to have the old bleachers demolished to address liability concerns.
An estimate of about $78,350 has been obtained for the work from consultant Keastle Boos. School officials say that is a conservative and bids likely will come in lower.
Funding is slated to come from about $100,000 that was initially earmarked to hire technology integration specialists.
Filling those positions in the school year is not practical, Holcomb said, noting if teachers were interested, their positions would have to be backfilled.
Assistant Superintendent Michelle McKeon said teachers have been undergoing training in the technology area to fill the gap.
The bleachers had been declared unsafe and not repairable, forcing last school year’s graduation and this fall’s football games to be relocated to Community Field.
Small sets of bleachers from other fields have been moved to the new athletic field that was installed last year.
Known as Beaupre Field, it’s used for soccer, field hockey, track and other sports, but not football.