Portland selects consulting firm to design new high school track

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SLR Consulting, an international firm whose services include engineering, was recently selected as the winner of Portland’s RFP process seeking design services for a new high school track, first selector Ryan Curley said. SLR’s winning bid of about $37,000 was significantly lower than the other bid of about $70,000 the city received, he added.

According to Curley, the Board of Selectmen must formally approve SLR’s offer before a contract can be executed.

While the full cost of the project won’t be known until the city receives bids to build the project, Curley said he’s optimistic state funding will fully cover the expense.

The high school’s existing track is nearly 20 years old, and its deterioration has prevented the school from hosting sporting events there, Curley said. Its many cracks and divots present hazards to walkers and joggers, and at least one orange safety cone has been used to cover some of the missing track surface.

Curley said one of his campaign promises last year was to oversee the replacement of the track. He called it necessary for students and athletes who “have had to put up with a deteriorating track for too long.”

“We’re moving as fast as we can on this,” Curley said. “They need a track and they need to be able to compete in sporting events.”

Under SLR’s proposal, the city will be ready to accept construction offers at some point this winter, with work scheduled for the end of the 2023 spring sports season.

“SLR will make every effort to achieve the desired objectives for the proposed improvements; however, the construction schedule will be determined by the weather and the contractor,” the proposal states.

SLR’s portfolio includes work on two state bridge projects in Bethlehem and Vernon. The company has an office in Cheshire.

Curley said the project will be funded by a grant of about $500,000 the State Bond Commission awarded the city in March. Portland had to enter into a contract with the state before it could begin replacing the track, Curley said.

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