Facilities Progress and Planning Continue for Dallas County R-1
The most pressing facilities issue facing the Dallas County R-I School District is the progress on our new track, field, and bleachers. Record rains throughout the winter of 2018-2019 and in the Spring of 2019 have made this outdoor project a challenge for the district. We will be playing our first home football game on our new field this Friday, September 13th; however, the progress to this point has been slow and difficult. On an outdoor project where it seemed to rain heavily every week for over twenty weeks it became difficult for us and our contractor to get subcontractors scheduled at a time when it was actually dry. We stopped counting the number of concrete trucks that had to be pulled out of the mud with an excavator. However, once Summer was here our biggest concern was getting the field dry enough to grade it and get our sod installed. Once the rains slowed down we were finally able to get the field completed and the asphalt laid on the track. I know this whole process was frustrating for our community and not just the school district. We all watched many weeks where progress was just not occurring on the main areas of this project. As a district, we appreciate your patience and we will end up with a track where our students can compete and a field where football can be played this season. This Friday our new bleachers are scheduled to be complete and the home fans will be able to face East with the setting Sun at their backs. The new Westside bleachers and press box will present a challenge in the short term because the new restrooms are planned to be on the South side of the new DCTC when it is completed in the Summer of 2021. The other main inconvenience this creates is the location of the concession stand under the visitor bleachers on the East side. The district does have plans to relocate the concession stand to a new location, but all of these projects require the monies and time to complete them. We should be able to have our concessions trailer near the new bleachers for our football games in the meantime. We have bid out the fencing for the track and field area and we have notified the recommended company to order the fence to begin the project between our first and second home football games. Consequently, we will not have a gate for the first home game this Friday and admission will be free. I also ask our guests be conscientious of our new grass in areas around the track and try to stay on the sidewalks around the track. The final steps on the track itself are the rubberized track surface and the structural spray over the surface. Those cannot occur for at least 28 days after the asphalt was laid but will be completed this Fall. I always remind people that change/improvement is a process and not a single event, and this project has reaffirmed this belief.
We also plan to continue improving the new softball field and Buffalo Prairie Middle School. There are two primary items we need to construct to complete this project. First, we need to build a press box and concession stand with adjoining restrooms. We sent this project out for bids; however, we only obtained a single bid which was unacceptably high. We are refining our specifications on this part of the project and will put it out to bid again in the future. Lastly, we need to have lighting installed to allow games to be played after sunset. At this time, I do not have a timeline on the completion of this project.
Finally, we are continuing to work with our architects and engineers to design the finalized plans for the New Dallas County Technical Center (DCTC). Again, I want to thank our voters for approving additional funding for this project. The projects I have mentioned thus far in this article will be completed with previously existing funding for the district. However, the New DCTC will be funded using the new funding approved by our voters in April of this year and with previously existing district funding. The district will not obtain any of this new revenue until November and December of this year and these funds can only be used to design and construct the new DCTC. We are hoping to have additional pictures and information out on this project within the next couple of months as our design and planning are finalized. We will put this project out to bid in the Winter of this year with construction to begin this upcoming Spring. The project will be completed in the Summer of 2021.
Thank you all for your support of our students and our district. Go Bison!