Rain delays school construction
by Mark Andrews
Jan 18, 2013 | 1607 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Building site of the new Emerson Elementary School. The city of Emerson filed a stop work order because of water issues. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Building site of the new Emerson Elementary School. The city of Emerson filed a stop work order because of water issues. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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The recent influx of rain in the region has caused construction on the new Emerson Elementary School to reach a temporary standstill based on the turbidity, or sediment, in the water runoff from the site.

“... There are certain discharge limits of the turbidity that’s measured in [Nephelometric Turbidity Units] levels and there are certain limits [the contractor] is supposed to meet,” Emerson Assistant City Manager Todd Heath said, adding the city has filed a stop work order on further construction until the NTU levels are within required limits. “We did some testing after some rain events and it was in excess of the discharge limits and we had a complaint from a citizen of turbidity in the water in front of his house.

“We had to follow up on the complaint and come to find out from our ordinance ... [the stop work order] is not to stop work completely, they can continue working, but only to fix the problems and then once the problems are taken care of they can begin work on the school.”

The site for the $12.8 million, 87,000-square-foot, 500-classroom school is located adjacent to South Central Elementary School on Old Alabama Road.

“We’ve had samples of all the ponds on site and one of the issues we’ve had that confronts with our pond on the site is it’s not as large as it should be because of the waterline and gas line we were told was by the road,” Superintendent John Harper said. “We were not able to make the pond as big as we wanted to because the gas line is further away from the road, which takes up part of that retention pond, so the water that ran under the road and into the creek had more sediments than what’s wanted in it ...”

Harper said the contractor hired for the site currently is working to remediate the problem, adding the school is expected to see completion by April 2014.