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SWR board looking for cheaper options for turf field irrigation

10/07/2015 10:21 AM |

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The Shoreham-Wading River school board is holding off on making changes to the district’s bond project that would pay for the installation of an irrigation system — which could potentially cost more than $100,000 — into the new turf field.

The big reason? That price tag.

The board had planned to make a decision on the new expense during Tuesday night’s meeting after conversations last week, but the cost estimates provided by representatives from BBS Architecture were far higher than the board expected, so they asked the construction company to seek less expensive bids.

“We asked them to get additional quotes to help with the pricing of that,” said board president John Zukowski. “They had expected the sprinkler system to come in 50 percent cheaper, but it did not, so they’re going to get additional quotes at the request of the board.”

Because the district opted for organic fill on the in-progress turf field, they need to install either an automatic sprinkler system or a “water cannon” to ensure the material stays hydrated. The sprinkler system could cost between $100,000 and $142,000, and the water cannon could cost $13,000.

“The manufacturers of those products recommend you somehow be able to deliver water to that infill,” said BBS architect John Longo.

Either of those choices will require a change order to the $48.5 million capital improvement bond approved in January — in other words, the board needs to vote to reshuffle the money within the bond since the original plan did not include funding for some kind of irrigation to the turf field.

“Since the water cannon is a specific piece of equipment, we could not include that in the bid under any circumstances,” Mr. Longo added.

The former grass field had its own sprinkler system, and that infrastructure could be hooked up to provide water to the water cannon. However, it is not strong enough to power a sprinkler system for the turf field, contributing to the high cost of that option.

In the meantime, construction on the field will continue.

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