A study by Colliers Engineering and Design found weaknesses in Caito Field

The School Committee will go forward with another study to investigate Caito Field after a study by Colliers Engineering and Design found areas in the northeast, northwest and southwest portion of the field to be “highly susceptible” to ground loss.

SCITUATE – Caito Field remains closed after a large sinkhole was found in the track in May, leading the School Committee to approve spending up to $30,000 to investigate the condition of the field.

According to School Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Dias, the district needs to continue to “further test to diagnose specifically what is going on with the field.” She said the preliminary geotechnical assessment report by Colliers Engineering and Design shows more sinkholes in the field, with at least one of them larger than the original.

The first round of testing led to a recommendation for a second round of testing to discover what is causing the sinkholes to happen, and to get an accurate diagnosis of the problem so it will not “chronically happen,” Dias said.

The preliminary report raised concerns that there is something more happening than the natural settling of the field, Dias said. She added the study showed some weaknesses that need further study and analysis.

Dias said the additional $30,000 is an effort to protect the taxpayers’ dollars both now and into the future.

“The people who designed and installed the field need to take some responsibility to get the field into full repair,” Dias said.

Dias added that the issue is “very sensitive,” causing much of the discussion to be held in closed executive session. The number one priority, she said, is to protect taxpayer money, to get the field the town paid for, and get children back on the field.

“I don’t speak just for myself, this has been really heartbreaking for everyone on our School Committee. We just want to get the kids back on this,” Dias said.

Asked if RGB Architects, R.A.D. Sports and Gale Associates will be held liable for the condition of the field, attorney John Anderson representing the School Committee said school officials are consulting with an attorney and engineers on next steps.

“Simple. The town paid for a field, and the town expects a field that the town can use,” Anderson said.

A study identified three areas as potentially highly susceptible to ground loss, including the northwest, northeast and southwest side of the turf. It concluded that based on the findings, other areas of the field may be subject to ground loss over time.

In September 2019, R.A.D. Sports completed the construction of the $2.8 million athletic complex, which includes a turf football field, rubberized turf track, new setups for track competitions consisting of the long jump, high jump, shot put, hammer, javelin toss, discus and more.

Renovations at Caito Field, 98 Trimtown Road, took just under a year to complete, and included a new entryway and seating for 380 people.

In May, the School Committee reported finding a large sinkhole in the track, causing the district to close the field for safety reasons.

At the time, Athletic Director Bob Corrente said the sinkhole was immediately repaired and did not cause damage to the turf football field.

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