BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - After construction came to a halt six weeks ago, work finally resumed Wednesday on the football field at Bay High School. The question is how many home games will be affected by the delay?
Right now, it doesn't look like the Tigers' season opener will be played at home. Even though the construction is back on track, the field won't be finished in time. That's not the only project at Bay High that is running behind schedule.
Heavy equipment and workers returned to Tank Williams Field to continue replacing the turf.
"That's great news. The project is back on track," said Bay-Waveland Schools Superintendent Dr. Rebecca Ladner.
The project stalled on June 17, after crews discovered the high water table under the soil caused the heavy construction equipment to sink.
"What they're doing now is they're going in and removing the bad soil, the top soil. They're going to go down to the clay. They're going to fill it with sand and fabric, and then they'll come over that and begin to build the field," said Ladner.
The torn up field is not a pretty sight for the Bay High Tigers, who are anxious to kick off the new football season.
"They're still disappointed," said Bay-Waveland Schools Athletic Director Will Seymour. "A community this small, we get it all the time. We see them at the grocery store, see them at a restaurant. They're like, 'Coach, what's wrong with the field? When's the field going to be ready? Are we going to have any home games?'"
With the completion date now pushed back to September 26, the district is working on plans to hold two of the four home games at the Hancock High stadium.
"They'll get a chance to play at home at least twice. That's better than not playing at all. Our football coaches are excited. Our players are excited. Even though we're losing those two games, it's still something that we're going to have those seniors play on this field, on the nice turf, in this stadium. It's going to be a good thing," said Seymour.
The field work is part of the district's overall $4.4 million Safety Infrastructure Project to improve security at several campuses.
Another part of the project is adding parking spaces at Bay High. That work is also about a month behind schedule and could create parking challenges when school starts next week.
"Right now, our key focus will be safety. How do we get the kids and faculty in there safely and get them out safely so that project can be completed? Right now, it's on track for August 24," said Ladner. "We're pleased that both are moving forward. In the end, we are providing a safer environment for students and faculty, and we're going to be providing state-of-the-art facilities for not only the school district, but for the community."
This week, the school board voted to hire White Construction to oversee the parking lot expansion and renovations at the football field. Ladner does not yet know how much the changes will cost the district.