Beginning on May 15, 2013, UREC and the general contractor for the job (Buquet/Leblanc) started to mobilize on the site. In those first few days, equipment was delivered to the site and surveying of the property began. This is also when the full site started to take shape. The perimeter temporary fence was erected along the north edge of the property.
Within the first two weeks of the job, we learned that the Levee Board and the Army Corps of Engineers had suspended all site work within 1500 feet of the levee. The River Road Fields fall within that 1500 feet and therefore we couldn’t make any ground penetrations or remove any topsoil until the river level dropped below 11 feet at the Carrolton Station in New Orleans, LA. We were only able to work at the site on those items that did not require digging or excavating.
So what now? We turned our focus on cutting down the trees along the current property line to the north and deconstructing the Challenge Course. The course took several days to demo and the final step was to cut the poles 3 ft. above the ground. Once that was completed, Buquet/LeBlanc was able to remove the chain link fence along the north edge.
Toward the middle of June, the job was still held up due to the river level. Working with the electrical subcontractor (Miller Co.), it was determined that we could begin dropping the lights and their housing from the poles. As the month came to a close, we were all eagerly anticipating the day we could get started. The plans are set to make this part of UREC the best it can be for our students and the campus community.
July, a new month, and with that came news that we could finally start excavating and digging on the site! This news was well received by everyone associated with this job and work began in earnest on July 8. The old tree stumps, fence poles, and the remaining poles from the old Challenge Course were all dug out to make way for the dirt movers. Work has begun on Field 1 (closest to River Rd.) to scrap the first few layers of soil and turf to make way for the new fields.
The hum of tractors and equipment is quite evident now on the site and we look forward to moving this part of the overall project ahead. We still have quite a bit of work to do, but we have a superb team in place all working together in concert to make this a reality! Stay tuned for more UREC expansion and renovation updates!