Here we go again ...


Turf that for only a few months covered the playing field at Hillview Middle School in Menlo Park is being carted away as crews reconstruct the field.

The project, expected to continue until school begins in August, was undertaken after irregularities affecting the levelness of the new field were discovered and an analysis "determined that the problems were the result of improper drainage detail installation and the use of incorrect base soil underneath the synthetic field," according to the Menlo Park City School District facilities director, Ahmad Sheikholeslami.

The school's new playing field had been in use only since March.


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Posted by jakedog
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 22, 2013 at 5:02 pm

How can this happen? Who was supposed to "inspect" the base and the drainage? I have heard that the smell was awful from the stagnant water.
Sounds like someone dropped the ball. I hope the field is ready for school and that Menlo Park School District doesn't have to pay to have it repaired.

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Posted by repeat
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jul 22, 2013 at 5:09 pm

wasn't this settled in the last couple threads? guess a new post gets more views and ad revenue. The contractor screwed up and is replacing.

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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 22, 2013 at 7:29 pm

" The contractor screwed up and is replacing."

On his dime.

Keep calm and carry on.

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Posted by what the??
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jul 24, 2013 at 8:24 am

Why did it take so long? That field (and neighboring basketball courts) are ridiculously flawed. The middle of the field had to be 3 feet lower than the end lines - and the basketball court slopes badly too. The new campus is great, but the outdoor athletic fields are horrible. Hope it gets fixed, my kids sure would love to use the fields for PE

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Posted by It should not have happened
a resident of Hillview Middle School
on Jul 24, 2013 at 8:10 pm

How did these construction errors go unnoticed by the district’s highly-paid experts? Why were they not keeping a watchful eye on the construction of the Hillview field and courts? It was not due to a lack of experts working full-time in the district, including the district’s full-time Director of Facility Planning and Construction, Ahmad Sheikholeslami, and the experts from RGM and Associates, the construction management firm that worked in the district ever since the bond was passed, whose staff were provided an office in the district and worked on a daily basis at Hillview.

In 2006, Mr. Sheikholeslami was hired as a Facility Program Manager/Planner to manage Bond-funded construction. His position was scheduled to end in the summer of 2012 due to the conclusion of the major construction projects in the district. In the winter of 2012, Mr. Sheikholeslami began looking for work in another district, and an opportunity arose in the South San Francisco USD. The MPCSD agreed to allow Mr. Sheikholeslami to begin working in SSFUSD, and at the February 15, 2012 Board meeting, an MOU between the MPCSD and SSFUSD was approved by the MPCSD Board which included the statement, “WHEREAS the parties each have a need for a less-than-full-time Director of Facility Planning and Construction;”… Mr. Sheikholeslami began working 50% in the MPCSD and 50% in the SSFUSD. In the spring of 2012, Mr. Sheikholeslami became one of Ghysel’s gang of four, and, in a curious decision at the May 8, 2012 Board meeting, the Board consented to a contract to re-hire Mr. Sheikholeslami as a full-time director at the point in time when he was to begin working full-time in the SSFUSD.

Mr. Sheikholeslami’s contract for the 2012-2013 school year included a salary of $150, 058. At the June 11, 2013 Board meeting, Mr. Sheikholeslami recommended “increasing the CM (construction management) and LCP (labor compliance program) budgets by transferring monies from the program contingency reserve and contract augmentation for RGM Associates in the amount of $385,000, for a total contract amount not to exceed $4,945,000.” The increase included $50,000. for “CM services related to the repair of the Hillview MS Field.”

Let’s hope that this time around, the district’s highly-paid experts manage the construction of the field in a careful, responsible manner.

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Posted by Concerned citizen
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 25, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Once again, Ghysels and the board put out spin in the Almanac to make themselves look better, hoping people won't actually read the information in the Board packet which uncovers their lies.

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Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 25, 2013 at 3:37 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

The posters do not want to be calm, they would rather complain about everything

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Posted by Concerned citizen
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 25, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Steve C--

No, I would like transparency in our publicly elected board of education. Particularly when they are coming out to ask this community for another $25 million bond. This illustrates their inability to be good stewards of the money that we already voted in that is under their care. It's fine if it costs $50,000 to figure out how to fix the problem with the field. But why try to hide it? Just be open and transparent about it. Don't write statements for Sheikholeslami that state that this is NOT costing the district any money, because it is.

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Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 26, 2013 at 8:05 am

Concerned citizen
No their not asking for another $25 million, they're asking for another nearly $100 million - the true cost of the bond to the taxpayers.

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Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 26, 2013 at 8:09 am

Now if I could just learn the difference between they're and their.

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