EMS Ditch areas

Two overgrown areas on the East Middle School campus will receive some much-needed clearing and repairs, according to the Tullahoma City Schools Board of Education.

At its last meeting, the school board approved nearly $14,000 to be spent on clearing and improving the fence and ditch areas near the soccer and softball fields on the East Middle campus. According to TCS Director of Business Jason Ray, the district accepted bids for the work, which is necessary to “improve the aesthetics and safety in these areas.”

The first area needing improvements was the ditch area located between the softball and soccer fields, which had grown over with brush over the years, Ray said in a memo to the school board. The area had even been classified as a wetland by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Ray said in the meeting. However, through contacts at TDEC, the district was able to appeal the classification and get the approval from the department to improve the area.

The second area, Ray said, is located on the opposite side of the soccer field from the bleachers and press box.

“Unmanaged growth near the fence on that side of the field has made necessary the need to clear out this area as well,” Ray said in his memo.

Ray said at the meeting only one company, Gary’s Nursery and Landscaping, of Winchester, submitted a bid for the project.

Among the bid specifications, Ray said the job entailed clearing out the ditches of all debris “including concrete and blocks, brush and trees and any other obstacles;” digging out the stumps and hauling away all the debris; grading, shaping and widening the ditch to obtain proper drainage; grading, leveling and ground prep, raking and seed drilling the grass in the ditch; and strawing the ditch to protect the seed from washing away before germination. In the second area specifically, the job also included clearing out approximately 8 feet of the fencing near the East side of the soccer field of all the debris.

According to Ray, the district requested bidders break out their pricing for each job and all together. Gary’s submitted the only bid, breaking their prices down to $10,970 for the first area and $1,860 for the second; however, Gary’s also submitted an alternative to area two, offering to clear out 15 feet of the fencing rather than just the 8 feet requested by the district. The alternate price for area two was listed at $2,980, a $1,120 difference from the original bid.

Ray recommended the board approve to accept the alternate bid submitted by Gary’s for a total price of $13,950, which the board approved unanimously.

Staff Writer

Erin McCullough has won awards for her news reporting, community lifestyles and education reporting in the three years she's been a journalist. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and currently lives in Tullahoma with her cat, Luna.

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