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Jeremy Gaston/Herald-Chronicle
Seven area contractors responded to a call for bids to demolish the existing Lion building and perform major grading of dirt for the new football field and track complex to be constructed at Jones Park. Gary Holler, of Shaffer, Johnson Cox and Frey Architecture, answers questions related to the project before taking bids.

Jeremy Gaston | Managing Editor

OSAGE CITY—The Osage City USD 420 Board of Education cleared early hurdles as work begins to unfold at the site for the new track and field at Jones Park.

The board began existing business with a bid to address issues of moving power lines and removing power poles in the area for the complex. The board approved a bid for $47,571 to pay Kilian Electric for the removal of poles, as well as relocating the line at the existing field.

The motion also included a $911 payment to McElroys, Inc., for a sewer camera to survey the line from the community center.

“That didn’t go real well, as far as finding sewer in good condition,” said USD 420 Superintendent Troy Hutton. “There’s two areas in really bad shape, so we know there’s going to be some issues out there. We know there’s going to be some additional sewer line work out there. They’re working on a plan for that.”

Hutton distributed updated drawings from Kenton Cox, of Schaefer, Johnson, Cox and Frey Architecture, for the track and field facilities, which included a new storage space, as well as change to the arrangement of bathrooms between the existing community building and planned locker rooms.

“Adding to the west side of the community building has become complex with the electric and sewer problems,” Hutton said. “It would be substantially less expensive to add bathrooms to end of the locker rooms.”

Hutton said Cox estimated a $60,000 saving with the change.
Several council members expressed convern over changing plans.
“We haven’t turned a shovel yet, and this will be our second big redesign,” said Todd Peterson. “I’d like to see them do that on the original design, not an altered design. That’s what we sold to the public.”

Board president Brian Davies and member Pat Bean responded from their experience working with the architects and McPherson Construction. Questions concerning the current status of the project in relation to the overall budget couldn’t be answered at the meeting.

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