Athletic complex construction ‘back on track’

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By Joel Stevens, Associate Editor

A schedule that has crews working extended days and hours and three weeks of relatively dry weather has the Glenwood Athletic Complex project nearly back on schedule, according to Glenwood Superintendent Devin Embray.

Work on the $6.7 million complex began last November for a planned late summer 2019 completion but the project fell a month behind schedule due to rain and flooding this spring. In July, the Glenwood Board of Education approved a $235,000 change order with general contractor Genesis Contracting Group. The change order reflects increased costs in materials, additional prep work needed on the football field and track portions of the complex and an “aggressive scheduling” plan to make up ground on the project. The plan appears to have worked.

“We are crawling our way back on schedule,” Embray said Monday. “I won’t say that we’re all the way back (on schedule) quite yet but if things stay good, if we can hold off Mother Nature, we’re going to be substantially completed by Sept. 10.”

Since delays slowed the project in the spring, the district has targeted Sept. 20 – Homecoming weekend in Glenwood – for the first event at the complex. Glenwood is planning to host its first home football game of the season that Friday night against Dallas Center-Grimes. The Rams’ “home” season-opener set for Aug. 30 has officially been moved to Council Bluffs Lewis Central.

Over the last month the new Glenwood Athletic Complex has seen the bleacher complex go in and work nearly completed on the gateway building, locker rooms and the press box.

Much of the concrete flat and surface work remains, however.

Gravel is down on the 90,000 square foot track and football field area and the concrete curb for the inside and outside of the track is expected to go in this week.

A final layer of chip rock – a finer gravel mix – and sand that will serve as the base for the field is expected to go down soon, clearing the path for the installation of the FieldTurf playing surface.

Embray said Midwest FieldTurf, a Denison-based company, plans to begin installing the artificial playing surface on Aug. 7. The turf will be a polyethylene blend of fibers that is backfilled with layers of silica sand and crumb rubber and meant to replicate real grass but more resilient.

The track surface will be installed after the turf work is completed.

Embray estimates the athletic complex is between 50 and 70 percent complete. The heavy lifting is done, he said, with a lot of “fine tuning” remaining.

“The scheduling has helped a lot,” Embray said. “A lot of folks are staying extended days and hours. I think there’s been crews there the last three Saturdays and some have been going 10 or 12 hour days. And some crews have been showing up Sundays to do some work. I think that and the rain subsiding has really been the difference in getting us back on track.”