New turf is just 1 of many improvements underway at Steamboat school campuses this summer | SteamboatToday.com

New turf is just 1 of many improvements underway at Steamboat school campuses this summer

Crews work to install the new artificial surface at Gardner Field this week as part of the renovation of the Steamboat Springs High School's athletic facility. This has been a busy summer of construction for the school district thanks to a 7-year, $12.9 million bond issue that voters approved in November.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Pascal Ginesta's plate is full this summer with five roofs, a complete renovation of the high school athletic complex and the modernization of the middle school's aging cooling and heating system.

"We don't have a choice," Ginesta said of the time frame he has been given to complete the construction projects taking place at Steamboat Schools this summer. "These guys have been working six days a week, 12-hour days, and they are working the Fourth of July.”

Ginesta, who is the Steamboat Springs School District’s facilities manager, said the projects are on schedule, but the timeline is tight. Students are due back in class Aug. 22, and there is no room for setbacks.

"I'm comfortable with the progress at the stadium, but the challenges at the middle school are big," Ginesta said. "We have to keep in mind that this is just the beginning of the third week. At the end of the day, we hired an incredible general contractor that is doing a really good job. There are more than 50 people working in the middle school, with all the different trades, getting stuff done."

Voters approved a $12.9 million bond issue in November to address capital projects across the district and also supported a $1 million ongoing capital construction mill levy that Ginesta’s department will use to take care of ongoing needs at the schools.

The projects funded by the bond issue got underway when roofing crews started working on the district's bus barn in May followed by roofing projects at the high school, Strawberry Park Elementary School and administration building on Seventh Street.

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The work on the bus barn is finished, and Ginesta said the roof on the administration building is about 50-percent complete. The roof at the high school is about 20-percent done.

One of the most visible projects currently underway is the renovation of Gardner Field on the Steamboat Springs High School campus. The old press box and metal stands have been removed, and heavy equipment is grading the area where a new integrated grandstands and press box, which is much larger than the old one, will find a home.

The old turf, which was installed in 1998 along with the track, has been removed. Crews are now busy laying the new artificial turf surface, which includes a shock pad designed to reduce injuries, including concussions. Once the turf work is completed, crews will start replacing the aging all-weather track.

The existing concession stand will remain but will get an exterior face lift and a new roof. The bathrooms will get new fixtures and a fresh coat of paint. Other improvements include fencing, new sidewalks and curbs and an improved sound system and LED lighting.

"This is not like a typical construction project where if it takes another day it's going to be OK,” Ginesta said. “Here, we need to have it, maybe not done, but to a certain level. It has to be safe, clean and functioning.”

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.