Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Some Landscaping Deferred At New Schools

Carroll School officials confirmed Friday that contractors at both new school sites have obtained the appropriate deferral permits to delay some landscaping because of critical drought and water conservation issues in Southlake.

Dr. Derek Citty, Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services, said Bartlett Cocke, general contractor for the new Carroll Middle School project, and AUI, general contractors for the Walnut Grove Elementary School project, have planted much of the required landscaping to meet site plan specifications. But in late July, city officials granted both companies planting deferrals to avoid the loss of trees and shrubs due to intense weather conditions across North Texas.

In a written response from Keith Martin, Landscape Administrator for the City of Southlake, CISD was granted a deferral for planting landscape at all projects where certificates of occupancy are being sought. This covers CISD construction occurring at Carroll Senior High School, Johnson Elementary School and Carroll Elementary School, in addition to the new schools. The deferral will be in place until November 1, 2011.

“The contractors for the new school projects are diligently planting as much of the required landscaping as they can for the grand opening of the new campuses August 22, but we want citizens who reside adjacent to those sites to know that some planting is being deferred to avoid the heat and water-related plant losses,” Dr. Citty said.

Southlake city officials confirmed today that both contractors have a Construction Site Water Permit in place that allows for more frequent watering of new construction landscaping at the school sites. However, since that time, the request for deferrals was also made and granted.

Carroll ISD is in compliance with the city’s recent Stage 1 water restrictions as water levels in Southlake reach critical stage. Officials say they are currently only watering campus lawns once a week to help reduce Southlake water consumption, and will continue to follow city guidelines if Stage 2 restrictions are enacted at a later date.

“In late July, the district was asked by the city staff to voluntarily stop all watering at CISD schools for a 48-hour period, and we complied,” Dr. Citty said. “We understand the public safety issue and will work with the city, even as we do our part to protect the assets that belong to the citizens of Southlake.”

Under Stage 1 restrictions, school officials are currently watering practice and playing fields only twice a week, which is resulting in a deterioration of the fields for playing conditions at the start of school. A request has been made in writing to allow for more frequent watering on fields at middle school and high school campuses where football officially begins next week.

School officials say hard, cracked fields with dormant grass present a safety concern for students utilizing the field in impact sports. However, school officials understand the city must weigh this request for the health and safety of student athletes against dangerous water levels that threaten the health and public safety factors in the community.