Sewer fixes afoot at AHS

News Photo by Julie Goldberg Workers install a new sewer pipe and remove sod from the football field Monday at Wildcat Stadium. A sewer pipe was relocated to under the asphalt pad that surrounds the football field, while the sod is being removed for the installation of new turf.

ALPENA — The sewer pipe issue at Alpena High School’s Wildcat Stadium is being resolved with the hope of being completed in the next couple of days, Alpena Public Schools Superintendent John VanWagoner said Monday.

VanWagoner said at Monday’s district Board of Education Property Committee meeting that the project will cost about $73,000. Insurance is covering approximately half of that, which will cover the the pipe excavation and dirt replacement. He said the district is fortunate that insurance is helping with the cost.

The district is paying for the new pipe and manholes. That is coming out of the district’s cash on hand. Since the work was an emergency situation, board policy allowed VanWagoner to proceed with the bid process.

There was a 400-foot section of a sewer pipe running from the high school to M-32 that deteriorated at manholes under the field. That caused water and sand to leak in, clogging about three-fourths of the pipe. The sewer pipe has since been relocated to under an asphalt pad that surrounds the field.

Three new manholes are now along the asphalt pad, with two others at the ends of the new pipe. The manholes are accessible, VanWagoner said. And, if there is an issue, they can be resealed and won’t disturb the playing surface, since they were rerouted.

“It should be in good shape,” he said. “At the end, I’m glad we made the decision to replace all of them.”

The district had Suez, the city’s water and sewer contractor, come and check the pipe after it was laid out last week to make sure the work was properly done.

“They found no standing water in the pipes,” VanWagoner said. “They were able to see every pipe joint to make sure they were all sealed. They said every pipe joint looked really good, so they said it was really one of the better jobs they had seen.”

Another project underway at Wildcat Stadium is the removal of sod on the football field, which started Monday, VanWagoner said. He said that, by the end of the week, the field should be completely stripped of the sod and dirt and then grated for limestone and manufactured sand from LaFarge North America.

The district accepted more than $600,000 in large donations in May to install a new artificial turf field. The new field will be striped for football, soccer, and lacrosse.

VanWagoner said the new turf will be installed by AstroTurf the first week of August, just before practices start for soccer and football.

“We hope the field will be ready for practice,” VanWagoner said. “It’s all on track. There’s no issues right now. Everything’s definitely on budget, hopefully under budget at this point, so everything’s going smooth right now.”

Julie Goldberg can be reached at 989-358-5688 or jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com. Follow her on Twitter @jkgoldberg12.