August 3, 2016 Update:

Another week has passed, and progress continues. The pictures below show the field almost complete, the track ready for surfacing, and the bleachers almost done. The amenities building continues steady progress, and no further delays are expected!

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July 25, 2016 Update:

A whole lot has happened since the last update back in June. From the pictures below, you could see the shape of the field just taking shape, along with the track. Since that time, they’ve made great progress on the field, track, and bleachers. Check out the pictures below, which show a track completely paved, bleachers will all supports in place, all lighting complete, and the turf about 70% laid down. By the end of next week, the turf will be complete with infill, the bleachers all installed, and the track ready for surfacing the following week!

As far as the amenities building, you’ll see in the pictures that progress has been very slow. There have been several delays due to supplies and materials getting onsite, including all the structural steel. You can see now that steel is in place, and cinder block walls are going up. By the second week in August, you should see completed walls and the room trusses going up and the final outside taking shape.

A lot has happened since the June 10th update:

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Ever wonder how the turf is installed?

Take a look at the two videos below. The first shows the existing turf panels laid down, with a new section upside down on top. The new panel is sewn together to the new panel in place. The second video then shows the new portion being flipped over and pulled into place. Once all the panels are stitched and installed, the sand and crumb rubber infill is added into the field.

June 10, 2016 Update:

It is getting very exciting to see the progress over the past 10 or so days. We have new lights in place, the retaining wall along the marsh is done, and you can see the cast drainage system in place that marks the inside edge of the track taking shape. By the week of July 4th, the first layer of track paving will be going down!

For the amenities building, all mechanical in floor work is done, and the slab is poured. Now, walls will start to go up in the next week or so. One picture below with the bollards shows the new entry into the stadium through the building.

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May 27, 2016 Update:

At this point, you can see the footing and foundation of the amenities building is in, and the in slab and under grade plumbing is almost completely laid out. Next week should include pouring of the slab, and that will be followed by walls starting to go up fairly quickly.

On the field, field drainage is in the later stages of completion, and they have completely prepped for the retaining wall against the marsh. As of Tuesday, May 31st, the retaining wall will begin to take shape. Once the wall is in place, the area will be back filled and the entire track and field will start to very quickly take shape. The concrete pillar footings seen in the photos will also have the lights installed in the next couple weeks as well. The track and field remains on schedule and ready for early September use!

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May 17, 2016 Update:

By the end of this week, we will see the foundation of the amenities in place. As of today, all the forms and rebar are ready for a concrete pour very shortly. Below the still, there is a time lapse clip showing some of the pouring, and also a quick time lapse video of the spread footing for one of the new light poles.

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May 13, 2016 Update:

There has been significant progress since the last update. The Amenities Building is excavated and prepped for the foundations to be poured next week. On the field, all of the surface has been cleared, and site drainage is continuing with work across the main field and the connections along the marsh. Exciting changes are happening every day, and the next few weeks will show significant progress on both the building and the overall field site as well.

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April 26, 2016 Update:

It may be a cold and rainy April day, but it is really beginning to look like a construction site out there. Demolition of the stadium continues, with tree removal complete, existing track and field being stripped, and the layout of the Amenities Building is being marked off and taking shape!

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April 15, 2016 Update:
We are are underway! There has been some minor work done over this past week, and today the existing light poles are coming down. As of next Monday, April 18th, work will begin in earnest. Temporary work site fencing will be installed and will establish the official hard hat construction site which cannot be entered at any time. Further, initial phases of the project will require significant topsoil removal, so we will be reworking traffic patterns at the main entrance to accommodate a construction entrance closest to the project, and will structure that traffic around peak times. More specific details will follow on that in the near future.

These are exciting times, and we all look forward with anticipation to the construction process, and even more so the completed stadium. During the coming months, however, please help us to ensure that the construction site is off limits for all students, staff, and residents so that we can ensure safety at all times. We are currently on schedule to have a completed stadium by late August, and will be available for Fall sports. We will communicate any and all adjustments to that schedule if and when they occur. But for now, students returning to campus after the April break will see some exciting progress being made!

If there are ever any questions about this project or the process, please don’t hesitate to call or write Brian Forget at [email protected] or by phone at (978) 465-2397.

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March 30, 2016 Update:

After receiving approval last fall, the Triton Stadium Renovation Project was put out for public bid late winter. That process yielded bids for both the field work and amenities building that were in line with projections, and allowed us to move forward. At this time, the only change to the plan is that we will not be able to complete the press box and lift at this time, but we will be able to add that feature as plans allow.

At its meeting on March 30th, the School Committee approved a recommendation to:

                  • Award Field Work Contract to David White and Sons out of Bow, NH, including base bid and deduct alternate #1 at a total value of $2,735,500. This awards the stadium design as intendent, WITH safety pad, but without press box and hydrolift. All other components included.
                  • Award Amenities Building Contract to GTC Construction out of Haverhill, MA at a total value of $1,019,185.
                  • Construction start on Monday, April 18th, and completed on September 1st.
                  • Stadium Opens Fall, 2016

October 27, 2015 Update:

As of Monday, October 26th, we have gained all required approvals for the Stadium Project. This was done with the cooperation and complete support of our member Towns, for which all within the Triton Community are thankful. This process was cooperative from the start and a true testament to finding a way amongst obstacles. With rising costs, there remains a challenge to bring the project to fruition as designed, so other options will be reviewed as we proceed.

The Stadium Committee will be meeting again in early November to continue the planning and design process, with a goal towards having our project formally out to bid by late January. That would allow for a ground breaking early in the spring, and completion by the end of the Summer of 2016.

Thank you to everyone who has supported this project, both recently at Town Meetings and those who have been helping over the course of the last 4 years during the development process.

October 1, 2015 Update:

The Towns and School Committee met on October 1st to finalize a funding agreement that is workable for all member towns. With that agreement in place, the stage is set for approval by each member town. A town can choose to vote or not vote on a Town Meeting warrant article. If a town chooses NOT to put it on the warrant for a vote, it’s an automatic yes vote. If it is on a warrant, then a yes approves. A no vote in any one member town strikes down the project.

                    • Rowley will not take up a Town Meeting vote. They passed an override in May, 2015 so the funding is approved an available. They’ll take no action at a Town meeting and it will be automatically approved.
                    • Newbury: Town Meeting on October 20th. Town supports and will be funding in the General Operating budget, NO OVERRIDE. However, it’s on the warrant, so if the warrant article fails at Town Meeting on the 20th, that means the project will not move forward, even though the funding is available in the general budget.
                    • Salisbury: Town Meeting on October 26th. Town supports and will be funding in the General Operating budget, NO OVERRIDE. However, it’s on the warrant, so if the warrant article fails at Town Meeting on the 26th, that means the project will not move forward, even though the funding is available in the general budget.

Design Update:  Since the spring, construction prices have skyrocketed. As such, we contracted a 3rd party appraiser to review the amenities building to provide a current market estimate. In the end, the total project cost, including all design costs and $415,000 in contingency funding, is now estimated at $4.572M. Given the contingency factored in, and the further fact that we would be bidding this in the dead of winter, we have continued to use a total project cost of $4M. We will be working with Gale Associates to identify alternatives that ensure we have a final project that falls within that cap. That amount, offset by $525,000 from the bank, $100,000 from TEF Fundraising, and $175,000 from Gate Receipts, brings us to the estimate of $3.2M in borrowing. The bank has committed an additional $75,000 that will be used towards a new scoreboard (only Triton/Viking naming) as well as turf logo and signage upgrades for the stadium naming.

Current rough timeline if approved:

                      1. Bid Posted: late January/early February, 2016
                      1. Bid Reviewed: March, 2016
                      1. Contract Awarded: April, 2016
                      1. BAN (Bond Anticipation Note): April, 2016 (6 months?)
                      1. Construction Start: late April, early May, 2016
                      1. Construction Complete: August, 2016
                      1. Stadium Opens: Opening of School for 2016/2017
                      1. Full Bonds Issued: October/November, 2016

April 8, 2015 Update:

This briefing is intended to provide clarity to the process for the stadium development since falling away from our originally intended schedule. Up until late in the fiscal 2016 budget development process, the stadium project was on track to be bid in April, and brought to Annual Town Meetings this May, 2015. This would have brought a construction start date of June 1st, and a completion date in mid to late September. As the budget process concluded, late news from the state created significant swings in the assessment calculations for our member communities. This resulted in a significant challenge for our member communities as they attempt to balance the operating and capital needs of the towns in addition to their support of our schools.

We are now looking towards a timeline that would produce a fall approval, winter of 2015/2016 bidding process for best pricing possible, and a construction phase in the spring of 2016. This would ensure the stadium is complete by the summer of 2016, and open in plenty of time for the fall season of 2016, barring any unforeseen snags as we finalize permitting and approvals in April.

It is first important to understand the process by which the stadium project must be approved. The scope, design, and overall final plan for the stadium redevelopment is under the direction and control of the School Committee. The project has been discussed for years, and at great length over this past year with the District Communications Committee (includes member Town Officials and School Committee members) in an attempt to ensure universal support for the project. While the DCC has been kept up to date with the evolution of the project as a whole, the detailed planning process has been conducted entirely by the School Committee, and the overall scope of the project is in their purview to approve.

Once the School Committee has agreed the final design, bid, and cost estimates, they will take a vote to “incur debt” in order to complete the stadium project. The member towns then have 60 days to hold a Town Meeting at which they can approve or turn down the request to borrow funds. That is the only item the towns are voting on. If a town decides to not hold a town meeting, or withhold a vote from the scheduled town meeting warrant, then no action taken is recorded as a ‘yes’ vote for that member town. Under the original timeline, the vote to incur debt would have been taken in late March, placing all three May Annual Town Meetings for our member towns within that 60 day window.

The second element of this discussion is the method by which a town chooses to fund the debt assessments that were approved. These payments could be absorbed into the general operating expenses of the town, in which case a yes vote (or not vote at all) is the only step required of that town to approve The Committee’s request to borrow funds for the stadium. However, if a town wishes to place the funding on a debt exclusion override, that is a separate warrant and ballot question requirement. The debt exclusion vote is a method by which voters can exempt the assessment costs of a capital expense from the regular tax levy as a short term (assessed until it’s paid off) assessment. While the Committee has been actively involved in the process to ensure each town can support the stadium effort, this decision is ultimately made by each member town.

As it stands now, due to complicating factors that vary between towns in regards to other operating or capital expenses, the School Committee will not be seeking approval to borrow money this spring. The vote to incur debt, and subsequent request for approval from member towns, will be delayed until the fall, and align with potentially scheduled Special Town Meetings.

                        1. Since the Committee has not voted to incur debt at this time, no town can take action by placing the question on the Annual Town Meeting warrant for this May. However, a debt exclusion vote can be taken at any time, not bound by a vote of the School Committee.
                        1. Newbury will be placing a ballot question on the May election (May 12th) to request the authority to assess the residents as a separate assessment for the capital costs associated with the stadium redevelopment. Depending on the results of the debt exclusion vote, the town will then take up the approval of the debt in the Fall once the Committee votes to incur debt.
                        1. Similar to Newbury, Rowley will also be placing a ballot question on the May election (May 12th) to request the authority to assess the residents as a separate assessment for the capital costs associated with the stadium redevelopment. Depending on the results of the debt exclusion vote, the town will then take up the approval of the debt in the Fall once the Committee votes to incur debt.
                        1. Salisbury will not be taking any action at the May Annual Town Meeting or election. The plan is for the town to take the approval up at the Special Town Meeting in the Fall and fund the approved amount within the operating budget.
                        1. Because the projected construction phase is spring/summer of 2016, this means a first debt payment would not be due prior to June 30, 2016. The first payment will be due in fiscal year 2017.

Assuming the debt exclusions are passed in Newbury and Rowley, the Committee will then vote to incur debt in September, 2015. This will allow any of the three towns to schedule a vote at a Special Town Meeting as they deem necessary to approve the borrowing of funding for the stadium project, well within the 60 day requirement. Once the district is approved to borrow the funds, the project can be formally and publicly bid over the winter of 2015/2016 (likely late January/early February) to take advantage of the best off season pricing. A contract would then be awarded and construction begins in the spring of 2016, as soon as the snow clears. The total project would be complete by the summer, and the stadium would open in advance of the start of fall sports for the 2016/2017 school year.

The end result is an approval process that is significantly more extended than originally planned. However, this process works for the timelines of each town, and we will do everything possible to support their efforts to ensure the debt exclusion vote passes.