Construction is set to begin later this spring at Seymour High School on a project to improve longstanding drainage issues.
Earlier this month, the Seymour Community School Corp. board of education voted to award the work to King’s Trucking and Excavation of Seymour.
That company submitted the lowest of four bids for the project at $667,705, which is below the engineer’s estimated cost of $674,000.
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Other bids were $708,363.75 from Dave O’Mara Contractor, $891,530 from Infrastructure Systems and $674,200 from Temple and Temple Excavating and Paving.
Steve Nauman, business manager for SCSC, said the project is needed to alleviate flooding in the auditorium and music rooms and some areas of the teacher parking lot.
“Drainage has been a problem in this area for as long as anyone can remember,” Nauman said. “Several things have been tried over the years, but nothing ever seemed to work.”
Now, a different approach is being taken by adding new underground piping from the south side of the auditorium along with new permanent drainage around the building to direct stormwater to a new underground storage system in the teachers’ parking lot east of the soccer field.
Bledsoe Riggert Cooper James of Bloomington completed the engineering and design work for the new drainage system.
“This seems to be the best solution to fix the problem,” Nauman said.
School board secretary Kenny Browning said the drainage project was delayed so it could be better coordinated with the major addition and renovation project at the high school that will begin in the fall.
“We did not want this project to interfere with the work that will get underway later this year,” he said.
He feels confident the project will provide ample drainage and the ability to maintain the system now and in the future.
“It’s past due, but I think this a great thing for the school and the community,” he said.
The project is being paid for through funds from a bond issued by the school corporation in 2019.
“Funding a project of this size has been a major concern in the past,” Nauman said. “Without these (bond) funds, we could never have done this project.”
Construction should get underway in March with substantial completion of the storm drainage piping, force main and underground detention system along with parking lot restoration and repaving by the end of April.
The installation and startup of the stormwater pump station will wrap up a month later.
As for how the project will impact the day-to-day operations of the school, Nauman said administrators are hoping for minor disruptions.
“Mostly just moving some parking spots,” he said.
Principal Greg Prange agreed, saying parking for teachers may be a hassle for a while.
“The teacher parking lot is going to be unusable for a few months, but hopefully, the weather will continue to improve, and we can use the baseball/soccer parking lot for faculty and staff,” he said.
Even with the disruption, Prange said he is thankful the root of the problem was discovered and a solution is on the way.
“While the timing isn’t ideal, we realize that our planned expansion and renovation project is dependent on the completion of this work,” he said. “When King’s work is done, we’ll have the water problem solved and a new parking lot for faculty and staff. We’re looking forward to more great things happening at Seymour High School.”