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School board tackles drainage issues at Cartmell during early morning meeting

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By Sharon Graves

Taking an upclose look at the water ponding issues at the nearly completed Cartmell Elementary School, Carroll County Board of Education met in an early morning session on site Thursday.

Solving three separate water ponding problems were the only issues up for discussion as the board gathered information and considered options proposed by general contractor RossTarrant Architects.

Superintendent Lisa James called the 8 a.m. meeting “to make sure everyone hears the same information.  No action will be taken, this is just to gather information.”

No dollar amount was given as to how much each proposal would cost, with that to be developed and presented at future board meetings. 

The first and most obvious problem to the general public has been the slow draining retention pond at what is now the front of Cartmell Elementary School.  Laithe Ross, professional engineer of RossTarrant Architects, provided detailed drawings for two options to address this and explained the details to the board as well as officials from Carrollton Utilities.

The current pond has had difficulty draining water that collected following the heavy rains seen in the county this year. The board has spent considerable time discussing the problem and viable solutions. 

The first proposal Ross presented included enlarging drainage pipes and adding a six-foot vinyl coated chain link fence surrounding the pond which would be the first thing seen by parents dropping off or picking up students.

Ross’ second proposal calls for removing much of what is in place and installing an underground retention pond that would be virtually invisible above ground. Above ground the pond would be covered by grass and would include new cleanouts and a secured entrance into the pond for maintenance.

In addition to the construction drawings, Ross also provided the board with pictures of similar systems showing what would be installed below ground to accommodate the water run-off from the additional roof area of about 10,000 feet. 

We have installed this same type of system at the Gallatin County Middle School and it has “worked flawlessly,” Ross explained following the meeting. 

Carrollton Utilities manager Bill Osborne said RossTarrant is going the extra mile and are actually putting less water into the sewer system through the use of these ponds and drains.

The other two water ponding problems discussed were both located on or near the playground at the back edge of the property.  Board members agreed that poor drainage has plagued the homes in the small subdivision adjacent to the Cartmell playground for years. 

Ross explained to the board the way the system was designed to work and what changes could be made to insure it works correctly. Those changes include getting new fabric filter in place, checking the size of all drainage pipes the system utilizes, getting the grass growing so dirt and debris do not clog the drainage grates and doing some ditch work near the back property lines of homes in the Duper Dale subdivision. 

The board will meet in a working meeting July 21 on the issue following its regular 5 p.m. meeting that day at the middle school media center.