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Building Improvements Mark Start of New School Year in Brick

Bleachers, science labs, track among biggest ticket items

Board of Education member Walter F. Campbell said it would have been only a matter of time before tragedy might have struck.

His theory on the condition of the football field bleachers may have been proven correct over the summer, as crews dismantled the old home team side bleachers before installing new ones.

"As they were taking them down, they snapped," said Campbell, explaining that the steel girders that were responsible for carrying the load of hundreds of football fans nearly disintegrated. "In another year or two, we would've had a catastrophic situation on our hands."

The $625,200 project saw the installation of new bleachers for the home team side that will greet fans when the Dragons take the field this season.

The visitor's side bleachers "aren't in bad shape," Campbell, who has become the go-to board members on facilities projects, said.

Other improvement projects that got off the ground over the summer include the installation of a new track at , as well as a refurbishing of the school's auditorium.

"The kids were running in the woods, near cars," said Campbell, of the Mustangs track team during practices. "We had to have that taken care of. When they built the thing umpteen years ago, they didn't put a solid base underneath," rendering it useless.

The track project is about done, except for striping which will be painted once the weather improves. The auditorium should be completed by November.

Brick Memorial's main gym was also refurbished with a new floor over the summer. The old one was buckling. Crews are now smoothing out the surface in order to complete the project.

Back at Old Brick, many of the lockers in the locker rooms – some of which have been there since the school opened – were replaced. The bathrooms were all restored to working order, Campbell said, and exterior doors and windows have been replaced, with more slated to be replaced this fall.

BTHS science students will also have new labs in which to work this year. The lab upgrade project – which will see the renovation of three first-floor science classrooms and the expansion of two small upper floor rooms – should be mostly done by late fall, said Campbell. The upper floor rooms could take a bit longer, he said.

The board allocated $2.4 million last spring for the science room renovation plan.

At both high schools, gym lighting has been upgraded to improve energy efficiency.

received a new main roof, while Lake Riviera students should have a new locker room when they return from Thanksgiving break later this fall.

Campbell said he and the other board members prioritized projects, working on the "liabilities first."

clamdigger September 07, 2012 at 09:40 AM
sounds good,it's about time some improvements were done to the schools. Hopefully soon the football fields can be converted to turf turning them into good all season multi purpose fields
JD September 07, 2012 at 12:13 PM
I agree with turf fields at both HS... but the idiots at Muni installed 2 turf fields.... 1 at drum point and the other at vets middle school... such a waste!!! should have installed them at the 2 HS's....
JD September 07, 2012 at 12:14 PM
The visitors side bleachers are in bad shape also... can't believe the thing is build with 4x4 angle iron... and rusted and ready to go... go look at the supports of the new bleachers... then look at the mickey mouse contraption on the visitors side...
Ed LeFurge September 07, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Walt Campbell does it again! This man is genius and needs to be brought back!!!
Joseph Woolston Brick September 07, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Do you really want the "visitors" to be comfortable? LOL
Dave VanDeventer September 07, 2012 at 04:29 PM
it figures since my son graduated in June..but sitting on those bleachers was scary!!! My son said bring a chair..don't go on the bleachers! That could have been horrible!
DennyD September 07, 2012 at 05:59 PM
That was not the original track. That was installed around 1990ish. The reason the track falls apart is that there is very little security. Kids ride mopeds and dirt bikes on the track. Once the surface gets compromised, mother nature takes over. They need to put cameras on the booster shack. They need to secure the fencing. You have to have large sheets of plywood covering the entry to the football/soccer players so they don't cleat it up. You have to have a "maintenance" inspection done every week to make sure there are no small damages(they become big damages quickly). JMO
Jerry Belle September 07, 2012 at 06:37 PM
You nailed it on the head! It's not just at the High Schools, but a quick look at the various parks in town will tell the same sad story. Vandalism by teens of picnic tables, thefts into youth group snack stands and equipment sheds (Drum Point Sport Complex), thefts of nets and goals on fields (at VMMS), fires at Windward Beach and Arrowhead, Cherry Quay, name it....drug paraphernalia has been left & found by younger kids at these locations and gang graffiti persist on walls and benches and tables; it makes me wonder how quickly the new installed items will be destroyed. Cameras will only be useful after the fact and the juvenile court system is not effective... Shame.
Jerry Belle September 07, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Why were the turf fields installed at those areas instead of the schools? Could it be that the BOE did not chip in any monies? I really don't have the answer and hope someone on here does... Dan?
Daniel Nee (Editor) September 07, 2012 at 06:54 PM
That I do not know. I think that stuff goes back before Patch's time. I can ask around, though, in case it comes up again.
Daniel Nee (Editor) September 07, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Denny -- People going in there with mopeds/ATVs could have something to do with it as well (never knew that was going on) but it was found out that the last time the track was constructed, they didn't put in a solid base underneath. So, at the very least, that exacerbated any "abuse" that took place. Illegalities aside, what's the fun in riding a dirt bike on a track anyway?
DennyD September 07, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Speed my friend, speed.
Robert September 07, 2012 at 10:39 PM
i think the money used for the turf fields was from a green acres grant and the fields had to be available to the public.
Brickmom3 September 08, 2012 at 02:39 PM
LOVE that I called the school the other day for a printed out copy of something & they told me they where not able to send me a piece of paper BCZ of budget cuts & that my taxes would go up??? REALLYYY!! the taxes go up every year ANYWAY... maybe instead of worrying about how many pieces of paper are used, Look at your salaries that have to be budget in every yr that are OVER 165,000 ... You can Buy A LOT a paper with that amount of $$ Glad to see Something FINALLY being done for the kids!!
JD September 08, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Robert... The fields at the HS are available to the public!! I believe the turf field at vets middle school is managed by the schools... ie. rentals. Primarily for the midget football and some middle school sports... an occassional youth soccer game. The Drum Point turf is managed by rec... primarily for midget football... you will see other sports played there also like lax, soccer, etc.. I may have seen HS lax practice and play there..
Robert September 08, 2012 at 03:51 PM
The DPSC is maintained by the Parks Dept. The reason the turf fields went in is because the pop warner used to use the High Schools fields for games and they would not last with the amount of games they play now & high school use. and before u say why not just turn hs field into turf i will answer that the turf was not technology wise the best so playing on grass for high school kids injury status on turf still reports of knee injurys had to type fast sorry if i jumped around. if wondering I was born and raised in Brick and proud of it. Dragons keep your heads up its a long season plenty of time to righten the ship. PRIDE & TRADITION
Jerry Belle September 08, 2012 at 05:05 PM
The schools have all gone "green" - no more paper forms, encouraging sustainability, more economical, etc..etc... Guess who has to print out the forms though - YOU, ME, PARENTS! Now the costs for printer ink and paper charges are passed onto us to cover....isn't that wonderful?! Need to send your Automobile Ins. carrier a report card for good grades? You print it out. Need copies of bus passes - you print it out.
DennyD September 08, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Great job by the Stangs!!

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