During a Tuesday night meeting in Clarksburg, the Harrison County Board of Education approved a bid to fix the problems with the playing surface at Liberty High School's football field. The new Mountaineer Stadium has been complete for more than a year but has never hosted an event.
During the original construction crews were aerating the field for a drainage system and discovered bed rock underneath the playing field. With the rocks close to the surface, the field was deemed unsuitable.
Original bids to fix the problem, last year, were in the $300,000 range and more. Those bids were part of a plan to take out 16 inches of soil and rocks from the surface down, put in a drainage system and then cover it with synthetic sand and other materials. That plan was professional grade.
The new round of bids, including the one approved Tuesday night, save money and use a different technique. Costs will be kept down by using existing soil and a combination of natural sand and compost on top of the bed rock.
Thrasher Engineering was contracted to design the plan to fix the field and representatives from Thrasher recommended the board accept the bid of Playing Surface Solutions from Saegertown, Pa. Playing Surface Solutions' bid is $225,710.
Work on fixing the field is expected to get underway around the end of July. Playing Surface Solutions' process will begin by killing the grass on the field, then scraping it off, about an inch deep. Drains will be put down in the bed rock and then a soil modification mixture will go on top. All of that will be topped by sod. A normal crown will be built back into the field and the sod will need about three weeks to take root.
Construction will probably finish around the end of September and Thrasher's recommendation will be for teams to not use the field until the 2013-2014 athletic season. There has been no official word from the Board of Education on whether Liberty teams will be able to use the field in the 2012-2013 season. BOE President Mike Queen said he would like to see the football team play it's final home game at the new Mountaineer Stadium.