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News & Record (Greensboro, North Carolina)
GREENSBORO — Construction at Smith High's Claude Manzi Stadium is "a little behind" but can still be completed in time for the start of football season, the architect's project manager said Wednesday.
Chad Volk of Davis Kane Architects, based in Raleigh, provided an update during a meeting of the high school's building advisory team. Jared Skelton, the project manager for Guilford County Schools, said the architects and the county have been "reiterating to the (general contractor) that they need to do whatever it takes" to finish construction at the school's football and soccer stadium by the scheduled completion date of Aug. 1.
H.M. Kern Corp. of Greensboro, the project's general contractor, must complete the work by Aug. 16 to avoid a $3,000 per day penalty under the terms of its contract with Guilford County Schools. Smith is scheduled to open its football season at home two days later, Aug. 18, against Northwest Guilford after playing its entire schedule on the road in 2016 because of site preparation and demolition work at the stadium.
"We're slightly concerned," Volk said. "We're trying to prevent a snowballing effect. They provide us with an updated schedule every two weeks. We've seen the areas where they're slipping, made note of that and requested a recovery schedule today. We're trying to take measures now, and we think there's time left."
Volk said the work is "80 percent right now complete" compared with where the project should be. "We still have six to eight weeks left," he added, "so we think there's still time to make up that difference with good weather."
The project's total budget is $7.7 million, of which $4.7 million is construction and renovation work by H.M. Kern. When asked Wednesday if the project is still on budget, Skelton said, "At this point, yes."
Athletics boosters and other members of the Smith community have expressed concerns about the work at the school, which began with interior renovations that were either not completed on time or to their satisfaction. Among the issues that came up during those renovations and still must be dealt with are mismatched tile in locker rooms, a leaking roof over the wrestling room and problems with the HVAC system in the weight room.
The tile work will begin in June and be finished in July, and the roof and HVAC work should be completed by Aug. 14, Skelton said.
Much of the focus at Wednesday's meeting with Principal Donevin Hoskins, athletics director Rod McCullough and Smith boosters was on Manzi Stadium, where a field house is being built to house locker rooms, concession stands, coaches' offices and a ticket window. Also part of the new construction is a press box atop the home grandstand, with a training room and offices being built under the grandstand. The old press box, which was on the hill behind the visitors' bleachers, was demolished after the 2015 season.
Resurfacing of the running track adjacent to the stadium is also part of the construction work at Smith, and that portion of the project began this week, forcing the football team to move its spring drills to the outfield of the school's nearby softball field.
But the most important piece of the project right now is the completion of the work at the stadium so that the Golden Eagles don't have to play any more home football games on the road.
"The community wants to know specifically what's going on, and they want to know why it's not being done in what they consider a sufficient amount of time," McCullough said. "We're at a point now where we're monitoring things and listening to what they're telling us."
Contact Joe Sirera at 336-373-7034, and follow @JoeSireraNR on Twitter.
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