By Kyle Lovern
NAUGATUCK - The relocation of the new sewage treatment facility at Tug Valley High School is complete and the new lines should be hooked up any day.
The old facility will soon be dismantled, which will open up the right-of-way property for the new bridge to be funded and built by the state.
The ongoing process is part of a long-term plan.
The state Division of Highways will soon open bids for the bridge construction, which will give students, parents and sports fans another entrance to the high school located on Dens Branch at Naugatuck.
“The plant is 99 percent finished,” said James Ed Baisden, maintenance director for the Mingo County Board of Education. “The lines should be connected the first week of September.”
Baisden said all of the utility lines will be relocated and the bid process can start for the new bridge, which will cross Pigeon Creek near the old Naugatuck Grade School property.
The final construction meeting was held Friday afternoon.
“This is the first step toward developing the property for the new athletic facilities,” said Tug Valley Principal Johnny Branch. “The location of the old treatment plant was in the right of way for the new bridge. It has to be dismantled, clearing the path for the new bridge.”
“We are excited to see the development begin,” Branch said.
Branch said the new bridge will provide greater access to the school and future athletic facilities.
In the meantime, Baisden has had crews cutting the grass on the soggy football field. Like many grass fields, the recent heavy rains caused the field to become saturated.
Baisden said considering the weather, the field is in good condition. Contrary to rumors, he said there is no raw sewage on the field, only wet grass and some standing rain water.
Baisden said that, after this football season, the field will be crowned to provide better drainage. Since part of the field has been shared with the baseball field, crowning the outfield part of the football field has been difficult.
There are some muddy areas in front of the concession stand and bleachers, but Baisden was in the process of purchasing gravel to put in those walkways.
Tug Valley’s first home game is not until Sept. 12, so that gives crews some time to fix those walkways. The Panthers play their first two games on the road.
Workers are hoping for some dryer weather, which will help with some of the drainage problems.
“Considering the weather, the field is in pretty good condition,” Baisden said. His crews have kept the grass cut during the summer months.
Branch said once the new bridge is finished, a committee will work on raising funds to help build a new athletic complex for Tug Valley.
However, the process has to be taken one step at a time.
Kyle Lovern is the sports editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277, or on Twitter@KyleLovern.