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Water Line Will Be Relocated for New Wheeling Park High School Turf Field

The city of Wheeling is working with Ohio County Schools to remove a major underground utility line where a new artificial turf field is to be constructed.

Earlier this month, officials with the Ohio County Schools approved the purchase of a new fiber turf surface for Wheeling Park High School’s multi-use field near the school campus. The project is being completed by Astro Turf, and the contract for the work was approved at $588,581.

Also this month, Wheeling City Council helped with this project, finalizing an ordinance for the city to pay half of the cost to relocate a water line currently running beneath the surface of the existing field.

“From the front of the high school, to its left is a baseball field, and to the left of the baseball field is another field that is used for various things, including band practices,” Wheeling City Manager Robert Herron said. “A water main runs across the area when the fields are and services the high school, the Springdale area and parts of Elm Grove. It’s an important line.”

Officials noted that with a surface of dirt and grass, there is not a major issue if the water line would need to be serviced for any potential problems. After the school makes such a big investment in artificial turf, however, any potential repairs needed would be costly to dig up in the future.

The school is spearheading the water line relocation project, but the city has authorized spending up to $140,000 to cover what is estimated to be 50 percent of the cost to move the line before the turf is installed.

Also as part of the ordinance that was passed by city council this month, the city is authorized to enter into a joint use agreement with the Ohio County School District for the use of outdoor recreational facilities constructed there along Park View Road.

“They’re going to put in a turf field and a press box, lights and a small section of seating,” Herron said, noting that the new turf field can be used for softball, lacrosse, soccer and football practices.

Herron indicated that the joint use agreement is similar to one the city has with the school district for use of the playground at Woodsdale Elementary School, which is open to the public when school is not in session.

Ohio County Schools Assistant Superintendent Rick Jones said he appreciates city of Wheeling officials for their part in the project.

“We’re grateful to the city of Wheeling,” Jones said. “We’ve met several times, and they love the project. We’re going to allow outside use of the facility, so it’s not just for students..”

Herron noted that the new turf field can be used after rains without worry of muddy conditions that can lead to problems in other locations. The city manager said Wheeling officials are hopeful that sports tourism is something that the Friendly City can continue to promote, noting that events like soccer tournaments can be yet another draw of outside visitors in the summer months like tournaments for football and basketball have been in the fall and winter.

The water line relocation project is expected to be completed this spring.

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