$2.5 million Somerset Independent project awarded to Branscum Construction

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A tentative concept of how Somerset Independent's football field may look. The $2.5 million project will include covering the field with AstroTurf.

Branscum Construction is taking the helm of Somerset Independent’s newest construction project. The Russel Springs-based company bid $2,481,000 for the renovation of the district’s Alumni and Aquatic Center and placing AstroTurf on the football field.

Branscum’s bid was the lowest out of four bids.

Project architect Craig Thomas with RBS Design Group said that his company has worked with Branscum and their subcontractors in the past and “felt good” about their work.

The project will cover placing artificial turf on the football field among other work on the track.

Thomas confirmed that they will be using the AstroTurf brand for the field. The running track will be kept in place, although a curb and drainage will be placed around it.

Although work should began before the end of the school year, Thomas said the field would be available for graduation on May 24th.

In addition to the field, Branscum will oversee renovations to the Aquatic Center (the former SomerFit facility), mainly the pools and roof.

“The big thing is that it’s all new pool equipment,” Thomas said.

“All the tanks that were in the basement are gone, so it should be a much better situation.”

The facility was formerly owned by the City of Somerset. The city was forced to close the pools because of improper welds on chemical tanks and the installed equipment not being to code.

Thomas also confirmed that the outdoor pool will be filled in and concreted over.

Both sites should be completed by August 1st, he said.

Along with awarding the bid Thursday night, the Somerset Independent board approved the advertisement and sale of bonds that will finance $1.8 million of the project. Those bonds will be repaid over six years.

The rest of the funding will come from the districts general and building funds.