Beaver Local officials also dealing with faulty fences

CALCUTTA — As Beaver Local officials are seeing to repairs to the playing surfaces of the baseball and softball fields, the district now has learned of issues with fencing at the facilities.

During Monday’s school board meeting, board member Patrick Clutter addressed an issue with the outfield fences, this coming a couple weeks after the board approved work on the fields after it was determined they were not properly prepared before seeded for use.

The board, during the Sept. 25 special meeting, unanimously approved a quote from Mike Pusateri Excavating of East Liverpool to handle renovations at a cost of $17,995, along with blacktop handled by Smith and Thompson for $8,000. The board also accepted donations from families and business that would also go toward the project.

The fields, built as part of the new K-12 campus that opened in the fall of 2015, have not been used to this day, and concerned parents expressed outrage with the conditions of the fields, noting three previous contractors hired to remove debris — such as rocks, bricks, wood, glass and other objects — did not handle the work correctly, thus leading to the contract with Pusateri.

As for the fencing, Clutter said he first noticed a wavy appearance, and after some of the fencing was removed this week, he said it appeared it was not properly installed.

“Every other pole seems to not be concreted in, and the poles are cut too short,” he said. “I think we need to (repair them), again, these fields were promised. Even though we got a bad job done, we need to do these for the kids. We need to get these fences completely fixed.”

Clutter recommended tearing down the fences entirely and rebuilding them correctly, noting the district is working with contractors to fix the infields and the weather is still permissible to work.

Board member Lance Shultz asked if there had been any information regarding looked into, to which Clutter said there is consideration of one company, Esterlee Fence, to come and assess the situation. He said there is one quote to get the fence fixed and then recoup some of the losses from the improper work.

Board member Jerry Barnett, however, recommended the board gather a second quote

“I think looking forward to be more responsible, we should look at getting more than one quote,” Barnett said.

District parent Billy Pancake, who first addressed the fields issue at the Sept. 11 board meeting and worked with the board along with fellow parent Brian McKenzie to get the fields repaired, attested to Clutter’s assessment after part of the fencing was removed.

“There’s a lot more issues than originally when he looked at it the first time, just by pulling back the first few feet of it” Pancake said.

Clutter had recommended putting the issue on Monday’s agenda, and board president Greg Eisenhart recommended to have other companies look at the issue as soon as possible.

“Obviously there are some problems there that we want to look at,” Eisenhart said.

Shultz, meanwhile, recommended contacting an outside company who had not been associated with the original construction, to see what its assessment would be and if any legal action should be taken.

“A lot of the fixes are obvious that need to be done, some we’re finding out there’s more to it than what we anticipated as we begin to look at the fences,” Shultz said. “So once we get that outside opinion, I think it would be the time to present it to the board and then decide at that time what our next step should be, whether we want to pursue a process of legal recovery or, again, we just have to put all of our numbers together.”

Treasurer Stacy Williams advised the board if it wanted to pay for an official inspection, it would require board approval if more than $5,000.

The board agreed to further look into additional quotes and a possible inspection.

Meanwhile, after the meeting, Barnett issued a statement which recognized more donors who have helped with the renovation project. According to Barnett, the latest donations have come from Jeff and Rick Feezle from Rollerena Auto Sales/Feezles Auto Salvage for $2,500, and Rogers Feed for $1,500.

“This project continues to progress very well and the fields are taking shape thanks to our community,” the statement read.