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Leak destroys the high school gym floor and snow and rain slow stadium turf project

PMG FILE PHOTO - Buzz Randall Stadium is getting artificial turf after games were canceled for years due to unsafe conditions.

A spring break flood put the Estacada High School gym out of commission and the high school stadium field and track are also off limits as construction has started on the new artificial turf field and other improvements there.

Both venues are not only used for high school sports competitions, but also for physical education classes and many youth sports and other community groups.

"It's very sad and extremely impactful to our P.E. classes as we try to finish out the school year," Superintendent Ryan Carpenter said in a social media broadcast about the destroyed gym floor.

A water main line behind the bleachers in the gym leaked water onto the 1965-era hardwoods when school was closed for spring break.

COURTESY PHOTO: ESTACADA SCHOOL DISTRICT  - A pipe leaked over spring break and destroyed the 1965 era floor in the Estacada High School gym.

Facilities crews worked on a Sunday night and recovered about 200 gallons of water from the leak, but "significant damage" was done, Mike Waer, executive director of district operations told the school board at a recent meeting.

The floor is badly buckled and is "not repairable," Waer said. COURTESY PHOTO: ESTACADA SCHOOL DISTRICT - Thankfully, insurance will pay for most of the cost of repair and replacing the gym floor at Estacada High School after it was ruined by a leaky pipe.

After repairs and remediation, a completely new floor will be installed over the summer and will be ready for volleyball, fall sports and P.E., Waer said.

Insurance will pay for most of the costs of the new gym floor. But, the district will have to pay for some of the repairs, which are being calculated.

Carpenter said that the bleachers will have to be removed to put in the new floor and the district is considering other work on the gym such as whether this is a good time to replace the bleachers, or install brighter and more energy efficient lighting or do the work to reopen a now closed section of the balcony.

COURTESY PHOTO: ESTACADA SCHOOL DISTRICT - Work is underway on putting in artificial turf at Buzz Randall Stadium, but crews had to wait for some dry weather before excavation.

Buzz is buzzing

Work is well underway on installing artificial turf and making other improvements on Buzz Randall Stadium.

Ben Wheeler, Estacada School District board member and a major volunteer on the Buzz Randall Stadium project told the school board, "We've officially broke ground on it (the stadium), which is awesome."

Carpenter said, "This is something that in the long run is going to be a great prize for our community."

He thanked the community and local businesses for their support of the project.

"This is a great example of the school district needing to do something that is innovative, controversial yet visionary" and the community stepping up to support the project, Carpenter said.

Carpenter has said some people in the community have asked why the district is spending so much on this project and that some feel there are better priorities for district funds such as air conditioning for classrooms.

"Please don't mistake this for lavish spending," he said.

He said it was costing the district "more and more money" to try and keep the stadium fields playable and emphasized how much the stadium is used by the community and schools.

The old stadium field was notorious for its mud and poor and unsafe conditions.

"Over the course of the last fall season we had multiple games canceled because our football field and soccer field --it's the same thing --was deemed unsafe and unplayable," Carpenter said on a social media video.

"It was also a true safety concern," he added.

Carpenter also said "it's important to remember that that facility is also a classroom" with high school and middle school physical education classes using the field and track.

He said the new field will be used seven days a week until the evening hours.

"This investment … is going to change lives in the future," Carpenter said.

A waterline that had to be relocated has been moved and the new storm drains have been installed. The old scoreboard has been removed.

There was a pause in work to wait for some better weather after the unusual mid-April snow and storms.

Big job

"This snow isn't very advantageous to moving 10,000 yards of dirt," Wheeler said of the next step, which is excavating 5 feet of ground or 1,000 dump truck loads of dirt.

Carpenter said the workers from Estacada's Platt Excavating expect to be filling a dump truck with dirt every four minutes, once the excavation starts.

The district has spent about $710,000 dollars on the $2 million stadium project so far, but many companies and individuals are donating time, money and goods.

PMG PHOTO: TERESA CARSON - The Ranger's stadium won't be ready for months, so the class of 2022 will graduate from a temporary "stadium" set up behind the high school.

The district has thanked local businesses and groups that have contributed time, expertise and money, including Platt Excavating.

In addition, Platt Electric Supply has donated $12,000 worth of electrical conduit. S&W Underground provided all the work and services for the waterline and storm line connection for a donation of about $70,000.

Cascade Mechanical Systems Inc. donated all the work work and services performed for the waterline and storm line connection for a total in-kind contribution of around $15,000.

Cedar Ridge Homes donated about $20,000 of water pipe and M2 Integration donated services to connect the waterline and storm line. Wheeler Homes also stepped up.

The Estacada Community Foundation provided funds to install a scoreboard.

Carpenter told the board donations are still being offered and he thinks those donations will ultimately total around $500,000, cutting the total cost of the turf and other stadium improvements significantly.

Acknowledging that $2 million is a lot of money, Carpenter said "we're doing this in a conservative fashion."

Wheeler told the school board, "it's going to be awesome when it's done."

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