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Representatives from CHA Consulting, Inc. presented the Horry County Schools facilities assessment and proposed master plan for the district’s high school tennis and track facilities on Monday afternoon.

Patrick Graham, senior project manager with CHA, told the committee their team met with principals and athletic directors at each high school, and provided them with a list of improvements, master plan drafts and estimates.

“This was a high-level overview,” said District 10 member Neil James.

The firm said they completed topographic surveys, geotechnical explorations and visual inspections of the outdoor athletic facilities.

James said CHA identified more needs than the board currently has available for funding, but the firm came up with a phased approach on how to resolve those.

The initial master plan budget estimate from CHA for all suggested projects came to $27.6 million.

Graham said their recommendation for eight facilities in the district were for a full depth replacement, adding drainage, new fencing and windscreens. The recommendation for North Myrtle Beach High School was to repair cracks and resurface the existing material.

As for track facilities, Graham said they recommended milling and overlay for Aynor High, North Myrtle Beach High, and Socastee High. For Carolina Forest High, Green Sea Floyds High, Loris High and Saint James High, they recommend removing and replacing the asphalt on their tracks. The firm thought Conway High would only need new surfacing on their existing asphalt.

CHA suggested all tracks have synthetic surfacing, inside drains, D-zones for jump events and new throw events like discus and shot put.

As for the track infields, they suggested improving drainage in existing sand capped infields at Carolina Forest High, Conway High, North Myrtle Beach High and Socastee High.  At Green Sea Floyds High, the firm suggested improving existing irrigation and drainage systems.

To top it all off, CHA also recommended improvements to football stadia (restrooms, concessions, press boxes, ticketing, fencing, lighting, scoreboards, etc), baseball and softball facilities and practice fields (including lighting).

CHA recommended a phased approach, spending between $2 million and $4.7 million per phase.

“The tracks were a lot more weathered than we anticipated,” Graham said.

Ed O’Hara with CHA said that school size does not necessarily have to do with how many tennis courts you have.

“It has to do with the number of matches,” O’Hara said.

School board officials reiterated that this was only a preliminary discussion, and official funding sources had not been established yet for these project suggestions.

Other school board notes:

* Quackenbush Architects have been working all summer to discuss design schematics for the new Horry County Education Center, according to Mark Koll, HCS coordinator of design, engineering and sustainability.

“This is very unique. The demand with kids is unique, and the building itself is unique,” Koll said. “We understand it a lot more that we did even three or four months ago.”

The school is slated for completion by January 2021.

* HCS also announced they recently trained and certified 15 staff members in four different departments in mold inspection and remediation, thanks to a 40-hour class provided by Horry-Georgetown Technical College.

Superintendent Rick Maxey said he worked with HGTC President Marilyn Fore to have the classes available for this Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Team.

“They are equipped to respond and make assessments,” said HCS Facilities Director Mark Wolfe. “We’re trying to learn, and make sure we’re responding in the right ways. Training was pretty intensive.”

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