BLOOMINGTON — Providing the Twin Cities have a mild winter, multipurpose field turf may be installed at Bloomington High School's Fred Carlton Field in time for girl's soccer season in the spring, according to District 87 officials.
The school board awarded the contract to the lowest bidder, Byrne & Jones Construction of St. Louis, at its meeting Wednesday night. The company's base bid was $797,085.
The other bidders were Fieldturf USA of Montreal, Quebec, with a base bid of $849,610 and Ram Industries of Andover, Kan., with a base bid of $931,500.
The total cost of the project, with a contingency allowance, profession fees, soccer goals and other expenses is $993,561, according to documents provided to the board. Original estimates placed the project's cost at about $1.1 million.
The board authorized issuing debt certificates in March for the $8 million renovation and construction project of which the turf installation is a part.
Colin Manahan, director of facilities management for District 87, said after the meeting that there will be a pre-construction meeting on Nov. 1 but the starting date for the project will depend on how the rest of the football team's season goes. Manahan said the work will probably begin sometime in mid-November.
“If we have a mild winter,” Manahan said, the field could be ready for play by March 15.
The multipurpose field will be used for boys and girls soccer, football and physical education programs for the junior high and high school.
At the time the project was announced, Superintendent Barry Reilly said he was excited to be able to have the soccer program return to BHS after having to play home contests at another site for a number of years.
Byrne & Jones has not done work for the district previously. However, they met the requirements of having done a minimum of 10 synthetic turf installations, according to the report to the board. Among those was a recent installation of synthetic turf at Milikin University's softball field.
Also at the meeting, BHS baseball coach Steve Clapp and softball coach Amber McGee reported to the board about plans for their teams to travel during spring break for the first time, rather than stay in Illinois.
The softball team will play in a tournament in Murfreesboro, Tenn. The baseball team will play games in Florida. The softball team plans to travel in vans from the district. The baseball players will meet in Florida, with their parents arranging transportation.