By Barbara Wood
Soccer balls will soon be flying on the new playing field at Hillview Middle School, which has been closed since summer for reconstruction after its initial opening in March.
The field, originally scheduled to open for use in December 2012, will be completed this Friday, Sept. 27, and ready for use on Monday, Sept. 30, according to Ahmad Sheikholeslami, facilities director for the Menlo Park City School District.
"The field will be complete on Friday and will be open to both the school and the user groups on Monday," he said.
"It just took a little bit longer than we anticipated. The contractor who was working on it -- they had a lot of things going on," Mr. Sheikholeslami said.
The field completion was originally delayed due to a wet winter and other problems, Mr. Sheikholeslami said. Once it opened last March, problems with the field were quickly discovered and it was closed down for repairs.
The field was not level and did not drain properly, problems Mr. Sheikholeslami said occurred when a subcontractor did not follow the architect's specifications on how to construct the field.
In a guest opinion written for the Almanac in August, Mr. Sheikholeslami said: "The district promptly rejected the entire field (no small matter) and required the general contractor to replace it, because even if the error was the fault of a subcontractor, the general contractor has the ultimate responsibility for delivering a finished product built to the architect's specifications. ... The general contractor has been very responsive and stepped forward to correct the problems."
Mr. Sheikholeslami said the contractor has paid for all the repair work and the district will also ask the firm to pay the district's costs for inspection and oversight of the repair work as well.
The Hillview campus at Santa Cruz and Elder avenues in Menlo Park was completely rebuilt in a massive project beginning summer 2010. Work on the campus, except for the playing field, was completed in time for the September 2012 opening of school.