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Pottsgrove High Reconstruction Might Keep Feet Drier

SANATOGA PA – If installing an artificial turf field at the Pottsgrove High School stadium on School Lane wins future approval from the Board of School Directors, it surely will add greater flexibility to sport teams’ schedules, architects said Monday (July 15, 2013). What it probably won’t add, they also said, is surface water that could increase drainage problems on the campus.

Pottsgrove High Reconstruction Might Keep Feet DrierRepresentatives of the district’s design firm, KCBA Architects of Hatfield PA, this week assured members of the Lower Pottsgrove Planning Commission their plans for the high school’s reconstruction included specific measures to help eliminate storm water runoff and ponding that have created past problems for vehicular traffic and pedestrians there.

As they examined preliminary sketches for the more than $30 million renovation proposal, commissioners learned they would be asked to accept plans to install the field and do other site work even though its additional cost remained an option directors had yet to authorize.

“We’re bidding and preparing to go for the entire field package, and we’ll let the board make a decision once it’s opened the bids,” KCBA Principal-In-Charge Jay Clough explained. Bids may not be available until February or later. Maybe “if we pass the hat for a couple of bucks” it could happen faster, Clough joked, and was rewarded with laughter from around the commission table.

Discussion of drainage arose as commissioners questioned to what extent impervious surfaces – sealed roofs, asphalt parking lots, and other areas that don’t absorb water – would possibly exacerbate minor flooding along School Lane. The private road’s north side, which receives runoff from a nearby hill, atop which sits Ringing Rocks Elementary School, for years has been a site where cars and people alike sloshed their way across the property after a rain storm.

Engineer Terry DeGroot noted that changes recommended for the campus “won’t add a whole lot of impervious surface.” He instead anticipates water problems will be reduced by several measures:

  • Water retention. The campus is currently served by holding areas that collect runoff and then release it more slowly. The technique reduces water volume by evaporation, and lets existing storm drains handle runoff amounts over a longer period in a more gradual way. They may be redesigned and slightly enlarged, or new holding areas could be added underground
  • Turf field drainage. The new field, if built, would be created with an underlying strata of crushed material that would help channel runoff directly into storm sewers or holding areas
  • School Lane curbing and drains. Part of the problem on School Lane, DeGroot said, is that water lies on the roadway rather than being directed away from it. Adding curbing to both sides, and regrading the road’s crown, would address that need. Adding additional storm drains in the area would eliminate ponding.

The sketches were intended only to give commissioners a “rough idea of what we’re looking to do,” according to Clough. Those plans will be more specifically drawn within the next five weeks, “and we’ll keep in regular touch with you and the township engineer with updates,” he said.

Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Planning Commission’s July 15 meeting):

Related (to Pottsgrove High reconstruction):

Photo from Google Images

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