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Hartselle Enquirer

Wetlands on new school site hold up construction

Mitigation of a wetlands issue on the Bethel Road site of the proposed new Hartselle High School will hold up the beginning of construction three to four months, according to Finley Frazier, a representative of the project’s architect, Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood of Montgomery.
“We’re in the final stage of putting together a package of plans on how we propose to deal with the wetlands,” he said. “It should be ready for submission to the U.S. Corps of Engineers in early June.”
Frazier said the Corps of Engineers’ review and permitting process, which includes a public notice, usually takes three to four months. With that in mind, site preparation would not begin until later this year, October at the earliest.
“We could go ahead and start moving dirt in the upland parts of the site but that doesn’t make a lot of sense because we have a stream running through the middle of the site,” Frazier said. “Having a wetlands permit in hand makes work a lot easier on the contractor.”
When asked by a board member if he sees wetlands as a problem, Frazier responded, “You have to show the Corps how you are going to mitigate the wetlands during construction, and you want to nail down everything before you go to them for a permit. We’re extremely excited about using a part of the wetlands as a water feature and an educational tool.”
Frazier said the 60-acre construction site contains about 12 acres of wetlands, of which about onep0half will be mitigate through the construction plan.

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