Harlingen school track upgrade just got more expensive

HARLINGEN — What lies beneath the surface is sometimes more powerful than what lies above.

The Harlingen School Board has just approved additional work to make the field track at Coakley Middle School more solid. The track is being upgraded, but contractors recently discovered a drainage problem in need of major work. This problem is especially evident when it rains.

“The water is just settling down to the surface,” said Oscar Tapia, assistant superintendent for district operations.

“It’s just pooling,” Tapia said. “It’s not running away from the track. We want the water out of there.”

This kind of drainage problem could cause the track to deteriorate rapidly. So, when the contractor brought the problem to the school district, the board readily accepted the need for a change order of $60,000.

The Coakley Middle School track is part of a larger project to also resurface tracks at Gutierrez and Vela Middle schools. The entire $1.6 million project is being paid for through TRE funds as is the change order. Those dollars are the result of a tax increase approved narrowly by voters in 2015.

Most of the cost is for the track at Coakley Middle School.