Adam Selvidge steadies one of the poles that recently were set up on the future rope course currently being constructed on the Payson High School campus.
Photo by Andy Towle.
Before the district could hang ropes on a new adventure course, the project got hung up by the need for Payson permits.
The Payson Unified School District built the course without town approval and without the necessary permits.
With the course nearly complete, school officials are waiting to get word from the town if they can finish.
The large adventure course, which sits in front of Payson High School, features a helix-climbing tower, several telephone poles, a zip line and lower elements for various team-building activities. Construction was slated to wrap up in late September so physical education teachers could train on it later this year.
Ray LaHaye, chief building official with the Town of Payson, said school officials and the course’s contractor are cooperating fully and he doesn’t believe workers will have to rip the course out.
LaHaye can’t say what issues need fixing because an engineer is still looking over course plans and has not made a final recommendation. However, there are “a couple of items that are a concern for us,” he said.
Construction of the $200,000 course started several weeks ago by Massachusetts-based company Project Adventure.
Due to some confusion, the district did not ask the town for a permit before construction.
When a town official drove by the area and saw poles going up, he asked LaHaye if he had a permit on file for the project, which he did not. Given it is a structure, LaHaye said the district needed a permit to build.
“We are responsible for making sure structures are safe,” he said.
A course contractor visited with the town several weeks ago and said they had no plans or drawings to show what they were doing.
Last week, the district delivered plans to town. LaHaye forwarded the plans to a structural engineer for review.
The town told the district it could continue with construction, but at its own risk.
If the engineer finds issues, it could have to remove or fix it.
“At this point, I know there are issues, but there is nothing that says it will have to be removed,” LaHaye said.
PUSD Superintendent Casey O’Brien said in an e-mail that construction of the course is on track to finish up by late September.
The district is funding the course through a $1.4 million federal PEP grant specifically for physical education improvements.