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The Suburbanite
  • Springfield officials face legal, logistical issues with new high school

  • Springfield Local Schools will deal with the flooring and structural problems at the district's new high school and junior high building by seeking to complete the project as quickly as possible while also pursuing legal avenues to recoup additional expenses incurred in dealing with the myriad issues facing the project, Superintendent William Stauffer said.

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  • Springfield Local Schools will deal with the flooring and structural problems at the district's new high school and junior high building by seeking to complete the project as quickly as possible while also pursuing legal avenues to recoup additional expenses incurred in dealing with the myriad issues facing the project, Superintendent William Stauffer said.
    "Our goal is to get the project finished as soon as possible," Stauffer said.
    The school board met in executive session with the district's attorneys, led by Chris McCloskey, and afterward voted to purchase 50 tuned mass dampers to alleviate vibration issues with floors throughout the new building. Those dampers will cost the district $700,000, Stauffer said, and the district is electing to pay for the dampers up front and seek repayment of the bill from the contractor rather than try to force the contractor to pay for the dampers immediately, which could delay the process of having them fabricated and installed.
    According to Stauffer, taking on the expense of buying the dampers and completing the project as soon as possible was preferable to trying to get the money from the contractor and then order the dampers. Negotiations between the district's attorneys and the contractor are ongoing, but no agreement has been reached.
    The district has been informed that it will take about 10 weeks for the dampers to be fabricated and as each one is completed, shipments will be sent out and the dampers will be installed. With the flooring issues and cracks in the walls, the starting date for using the new building has been pushed back indefinitely.
    "We will install them (dampers) on the high school side first, so this may be a two-shift move," Stauffer added. "We want the high school kids in first and to get moving with that because of the need to tear down the existing building."
    The current plan is for the high school to leave the old building during winter break and start classes and activities in the new building in January. There is no set starting date for the junior high to move from Spring Hill to its wing of the new building.
    Once the existing high school goes down, parking can be put in its place, along with the baseball and softball fields that will replace the off-site facilities both teams currently use.
    One aspect of the construction project that remains on schedule at present is the new athletic fieldhouse, located behind the new high school. Although the vibration issues in the floor were present in the fieldhouse, Stauffer said the floor was torn out and replaced on Thursday. He expects that the fieldhouse will be ready for the start of the new school year.
    However, the school's winter sports teams may have an odd schedule in front of them this school year due to the prospect of moving into their new building after Christmas break. That could mean playing a few games in the old high school gym, which was honored with a small celebration after the boys basketball team's final home game last season against North, before finishing the year in the new high school gym.
    Page 2 of 2 - Moving during the winter is not an appealing prospect for district official, but aside from the logistical challenges of moving in what could be frigid, snowy weather, Stauffer does not believe the postponed moving date will add any additional costs to the process.
    Reach Andy at 330-899-2872 or andy.harris@TheSuburbanite.com.
    On Twitter: @aharrisBURB