By Nancy Gutierrez
In a special meeting of the Exeter Union High School District board, the bid deadline for a new all-weather track at Exeter Union High School was extended.
In January EUHS received a $312,000 donation from the Exeter Community Health Fund to build an all season track for Monarch stadium. At the time of the donation the board approved an item to immediately go to bid on the cost of the project.
The board extended the bid date to 10 a.m. on March 13. Previously companies submitting bids had until March 3.
There were two sport turf companies interested in the project, SRI and Caltrack. SRI, one of the major companies bidding for the job and a leading sports surfaces company based out of Texas, filed for bankruptcy and pulled out of the bid. With SRI gone only Caltrack would be bidding, making it non-competitive.
Board member Mike White said there is another company interested in the project who will now have the opportunity to bid.
"The extension will give companies time to review the specs and curbing. And we can receive competitive bidding," EUHSD Business Manager Jihad Hemaidan said.
The extension of the bid date will also push the track completion date back 10 days however board members said it should still fall prior to graduation.
"If we are not able to complete the project before graduation, there is a large window before football begins," White said.
As of March 5 five companies had requested bid packet information. The board has asked that interested parties provide a bid for construction of an impermeable track. Superintendent Renee Whitson said the board heard from several people who use and sell sport surfaces and felt that an impermeable surface would not have as great a risk for water saturation.
Before approving the extension date Board member Marlene Sario said said she would like to see more planning.
"If it were my project I would postpone it and get a total plan. I'd look at the paving and sidewalks," Sario said. "I understand the importance on the part of the money thing. They want it done by graduation."
White said he didn't know what plans would change in one month.
"I feel like we won't know where those things go until we have the track down," he said. "Once it's there we can come back and say 'we'll put the bleachers here'."
But Sario said the cost of those things also wouldn't be known until after the track was down.
"I'd like to know the cost of those things along with the track. We don't have a handle on what else we need," she said.
The addendum was approved 4-1, with Sario dissenting.