Published in the September 6, 2017 edition

LOCAL PILOT Dick Shafner captured this photo of the Lynnfield Middle School track and field project last week.

LOCAL PILOT Dick Shafner captured this photo of the Lynnfield Middle School track and field project last week.


LYNNFIELD — The town’s track and fields project is continuing to progress despite hitting a few bumps in the road, Fields Committee Chairman Arthur Bourque said in an email sent to the Villager last week.

Bourque said, “it has been an interesting few weeks on the project with a slew of ups and downs.”

“When Town Meeting awarded us the funding for this project, we made a decision to separate the drilling of wells at the Lynnfield Middle School track complex, LMS softball field and the Huckleberry Hill School field from the larger project and put them out to bid separately,” said Bourque. 

“This was done in an effort to get ahead of the bigger project so we had the wells in place before any work began. When the bids were received for the project, there was only one bidder and they failed to submit a bid bond with their bid. State law requires that the bid be excluded and with no other bidders. We were now behind schedule.”

Bourque said he, DPW Director John Tomasz and contractor David White and Son agreed to “subcontract the wells as a change order to the original bidder.”

“Over the next couple of weeks, we drilled two separate 1,000 feet deep wells at Huckleberry Hill with no water,” said Bourque. “We drilled to 1,000 feet at the LMS softball field with no water. We were extremely frustrated. We drilled a new well at the LMS track complex and (Aug. 30) we hit water, and plenty of it. It looks like that well can produce in excess of 50 gallons per minute, so we are in good shape in the back field and we are now working on getting that water to the softball and baseball complex out front. We will return to the Huckleberry Hill School to make one more attempt at water before we end this project.”

Bourque said the contractor informed local officials last week the contractor is “on schedule at the track and we are hitting the schedule guidelines that were established at the beginning of this project.”

“We are behind schedule on the softball field because we could not start the process of stripping the sod and removing the clay until we were ready to put new sod down and rebuild the infield and we need water to do that,” said Bourque. “The discovery of water (on Aug. 30) will allow us to move forward with that project as well. We are already working on the logistics of getting water out there.”

Since the project began in July, Bourque said the contractor has “stripped a lot of trees and undergrowth abutting the original track to facilitate the widening of the track and removed that debris from the site.” He also said the loam from the field has been stripped, screened and stockpiled at the site. He also said the contractor has “pulverized the asphalt track bed and stockpiled that on site to use as the base under the new track.”

Bourque said a new perimeter drainage system has been installed on the outside of the field and inside of the track.

“We will be installing surface drains under the loam that feed into these perimeter drains before we install the sod, said Bourque.

Bourque said the contractor has “removed, screened and saved all the loam and other unsuitable materials that will be under the new roadway and track.” He also said the contractor has “begun the process of installing a raised berm on the Perry Avenue side of the field for the future planting of trees to give some protection to the neighbors on Perry.”

According to Bourque, the contractor has “run into a bunch of clay drainage pipes that were undocumented previously but were servicing the original track.”

“We have either filled them with slurry or crushed them in place to prevent them from heaving and damaging the new track,” said Bourque.

Bourque said the contractor will be very busy over the next couple of weeks while working to finish the LMS track and field complex’s drainage system. He also said “concrete work” such as constructing the slab for the project’s storage building, portable bleacher pad and “other concrete appurtenances for the track events” will be completed.

Additionally, Bourque said David White and Son will be installing the “well and necessary pump equipment to bring water to these fields.” He said a new electrical service will be installed, and the work on the softball field will be completed “so that field is ready for spring.”

“There is still a lot of work left to be done here, but I am confident that we are headed in the right direction,” said Bourque.

Bourque thanked DPW Director John Tomasz and Conservation Administrator Betty Adelson “for their work to keep this project on track and moving forward.”