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February 15, 2011 - 9:30pm

City School District presents plan for $3.9 million upgrade to Van Detta

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Schools, van detta stadium.

No more muddy football games, practice sessions that can begin a month earlier and end a month later and lower maintenance costs are among the advantages of an artificial turf field. That's what about 30 attendees were told about at a public hearing Tuesday night on a proposed $3.9 million upgrade to Van Detta Stadium and the field.

The upgrade would also bring showers into federal Title IX compliance and disability access to the stands into compliance with the American with Disabilities Act. It would also add 75 adjacent parking spots.

The financial impact of the project, some of which would be covered by state aid, would mean the district would need to collect about $110,000 in annual taxes from district residents over 15 years.

Superintended Margaret Puzio acknowledges that in a slow economic time a proposal like this might be counterintuitive. But the time is right, she said, because the recession means the district is likely to attract lower bids from contractors.

"It's important for the public to understand that this may be the last opportunity to do a project of this scope funded at this level," Puzio said near the end of the public hearing.

Afterwards, Puzio said she thought it was important to at least present the option to the public.

"I told the board, morally this is the right thing to do -- to let the public know this is available and let them decide," Puzio said.

The local share -- the amount local taxpayers will pay for directly -- is $1.6 million. The district already has more than $500,000 in its capital improvement fund, which leaves a little over a million to raise locally.

That would mean a tax increase of $6.41 annually to the tax bill of a property assessed at $75,000.

Revenue to pay the balance of the $3.9 million project cost is expected to come from state aid.

The public vote on the proposal is March 29.

Besides converting the playing surface to artificial turf -- which would greatly multiple the number of events and practices the field could be used for annually -- the proposed project also renovates and expands the press box. It adds coaches offices adjacent to the locker rooms and creates separate shower facilities for boys and girls.

The current showers can't even be used because they don't comply with requirements of Title IX.

There would also be a new concession stand area that would include public restrooms.

A 75-space parking lot would be constructed on a current playing field off Union Street (near the center, top left of the picture above).

Ronald Konieczny
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I have a great idea. Why dont we use the 3.9 mill to lower the school taxes. But, "GEE WIZ' it is for the children. "Horse feathers". Let's get back to the basics of the three "R's" and educate our children. Our forefathers worked hard for their money without the benefit of all this waste. What is the percentage of the graduation rate at BHS? Wake up Batavia. We're in it for the long hull of spend, spend and spend more. This is malarky. I for one am sick and tired of paying astromonical taxes and so is the State of NY and our nation. Let's spend more rediculously. P.S. I didn't realize that football was on a strict time schedule or is a don't get muddy sport. Next time we'll probably need a dome over the stadium. Let's just spend, spend and spend till we drop dead broke.
Dave Meyer
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Hmmm...let's see. On January 11th Ms. Puzio was quoted as saying she sees "Dark days ahead for the city school district with cuts and caps in the works". And now we get this proposal. Seriously?? I mean really Margaret?? Do you read the paper or watch the news? YOU were the one that brought up the fact that aid to school districts would be cut severely and then you have the unmitigated gall to even THINK of proposing a project like this?? You and this board have been on a building/spending spree for the last several years to the point where our district infrastructure is now overbuilt compared to our school population. Each time - as is the case with this project - the mantra is "it won't cost the taxpayers....blah...blah...blah." What's going to happen when those cuts in state aid really do come down the pike and you really have to scramble to run the district? Would you wish that you had that $3.9 million that you want to spend on this folly? God forbid that the football players get a little muddy. (I'll bet Dan Van Detta wouldn't mind a little mud) This project must be voted down and voted down decisively.
Bea McManis
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Ronald and Dave, You both have valid points. This project cannot come to fruition while teachers and programs are cut. I'm not as extreme as Ronald. I do believe that extra activities are important in the development of our children. Danny was a great coach and a great teacher. Yes, he wouldn't mind a little mud, but I have a feeling that, under better economic circumstances, he would appreciate the improvements. Could the project be pared down to what is needed to bring the stadium facility into compliance? I'm sure it could. Do we really need 75 additional parking spaces? How luxurious does the press box need to be? Do the coaches really need offices? None of those items are required to satisfy the compliance issues.
Dave Meyer
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The point is that this superintendent and this board are completely out of touch with the taxpayers. Something has to give and this project is an extravagance that the district cannot afford. Less than a month ago, Ms. Puzio was quoted when speaking about the upcoming state budget and its effect on the district's ability to maintain programs that, "It might be impossible. And I'm not given to saying that things are impossible - but it just might be impossible." Now she and they propose this??? Margaret...this should be impossible. She's talking out of both sides of her mouth and I for one am sick of it. "morally this is the right thing to do"??? Really Margaret....Really?!?! I don't know how any superintendent in his/her right mind could propose such a project in this economic climate. One would think that the first priority of any superintendent and or B.O.E. would be to do everything they could to preserve the educational programs ESPECIALLY in the current environment. This project is neither necessary nor something that the district can afford given what is bound to be a difficult budget year.
Kyle Couchman
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I have a question everyone, I have been very busy with establishing myself with work in Roch so I havent been able to post. But I have been reading. I see alot of "Govt abuse" going on here, pushing stuff through despite the public's opinion, alot of backtracking and pretty much thumbing their noses at general public consensus. When I lived in Ithaca, we had a group of citizens... That actively went around to the various meetings, this group was composed of people who had different skill sets, some were well connected and communicated w people at public locations, getting signatures for issues that local govt was ignoring. Some were excellent public speakers who werent afraid to speak out and be contensious if necessary to "get the attention" of reps, (not just argumentative but they were willing to point out conflicting statements and bring up past examples of actions by reps that went contradictiory to public opinion and failed costing the pubic more in the long run. the third component was people that would attend and get others to attend b.o.e meetings and other "public information" sessions. I sense that we are at a crucial point here locally, I see alot of examples of a disconnect that has the potential to be disasterous for all of us. In economic times like these people tend to not get involved too much cause they have too much to worry bout at home and thats when local represenatives get carte blanche to do what they themselves want to the detriment of us all. Look at the headlines... GCEDC, the hotel issue (if I am not mistaken mr patel who is at the heart of Holiday inn express is the same patel who's complacency got those people kicked out of the motel in the middle of winter over there by the park on the western end of town.) This BOE proposal, as well as the Jay Grasso/Chris Carvella stuff, The Lee issue and so much more, I have even seen rumblings here of people wanting to get together to discuss these issues that are beginning to cross party affiliation lines and making it an us vs govt issue. I'm just spitballing here but ask yourself dont you think its time to start making these people as accounatble to us as they are supposed to be? And make them painfully aware that they ignore us at their own peril? If we dont start it here at our local level....how can we hope that the state or federal will ever get it?
John Roach
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Vote no. If the district would sell the land it owns at the end of North Street, where they wanted to build a sports park last year, and use that money to pay for this new project, I could say yes. But they are not putting that land up for sale. Later, they will still want to build that park also, raising taxes even more. Vote no, use the money for academic purposes, which is the main mission of schools.
Howard B. Owens
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One thing that did come out last night is that the Van Detta project would make North Street unnecessary. As just as a matter of clarification, it was pointed out that the funds earmarked for capital improvement cannot be used on operations (such as teacher's salaries).
Thomas Mooney
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Here are some things they didn't tell you . For one , putting a home run fence across the middle of the High School softball field and across the middle of JK field will eliminate two exsisting soccer fields . This is supposed to accomodate Title IV . The problem I have is title IV is for equall facilities between girls and boys . So the baseball team has no homerun fence on the baseball field , so why do we need it for softball .Someone will say that the baseball team plays at Dwyer Stadium with a fence and I say GCC has a sofball field with a fence and dugouts and they could play there as does the baseball team @ Dwyer . Why would we build a new snack stand for the Lions Club to run . So with this project we loose two Soccer /Lacrosse fields and gain some fences a turf field that costs big bucks to maintain and Lions club gets a new snack stand .Oh ya don't forget about the jump pits that we really need so bad . Some board member's son must have wanted those . What really needs to be done is nothing except take care of what we have , particularly the stadium blechers , forget the rest . The Board needs to Stop abusing Title IV to cover up pet projects .
Peter O'Brien
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I ran track there once. The facilities were fine. How does a jump pit get destroyed in a matter of 15 years? Its a PIT! Send someone out with a shovel and some sand... The cost is too high and artificial turf is not needed. Not to mention there are studies that say injuries increase on artificial turf. Ever slid on the stuff? Raspberry nirvana.
JoAnne Rock
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Kyle, I agree with you 100%. Government transparency is useless if no one bothers to take the time to pull the curtain back, check the facts and dare to question their actions. You can count me in. Anyone else?
Dave Olsen
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"The cost is too high and artificial turf is not needed. Not to mention there are studies that say injuries increase on artificial turf. Ever slid on the stuff? Raspberry nirvana." You are absolutely correct, Peter. Artificial turf for high school football is ridiculous. John Madden is waving his arms and yelling right now.
Thomas Mooney
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Option E is what the picture of project says . Where are the other otions ? Maybe those other options would be a better choice .
Peter O'Brien
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There are several NFL teams that still play on real grass. Chicago and Pittsburgh are the first that come to mind for me, maybe Green Bay as well.
scott williams
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What are these people thinking? Do they not realize that just because this money isn't coming out of the local tax coffers ITS STILL A TAX!! How do they think this money comes from albany or D.C.? Its our tax money HELLO,a turf field, there are still NFL teams with grass.Reject the money from the feds for once maybe they will start to listen to WE THE PEOPLE and distribute all this money to the states to hire teachers that pay $100,000 for there schooling to not be able to get a job.And I agree sell the N.street property and for that matter one of the elementary schools with all of there elaborate additions for a community that is shrinking..Hey Mrs.Puzio you no that fenced in field with a stone circle around it just west of vandetta that is NOTRE DAMES stadium sure the school would like a new one but there not gonna raise tuition $100,000 a year per student nor would they have the gull to ask.! My daughter just graduated with her masters in early childhood education that money would pay my daughters salary for 45 years,instead she has a 5 year plan in 5 years maybe she'll have a job teaching!!!!!!!
George Richardson
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The University of Texas tore out their astroturf and went back to dirt. It causes fewer injuries, who knew? Y'all know now. If they have sponsors willing to foot the bill, then go for it. Otherwise, you guys are nuts.
George Richardson
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"For one , putting a home run fence across the middle of the High School softball field" Why a fence, wouldn't a clothesline work just as well? Two birds with one stone, lucky me.
Dave Meyer
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Another thing they've failed to mention is the fact that this field was just rebuilt not that long ago. I don't know exactly when, but it's in the neighborhood of 10 years or so. I also don't know the cost of that project but I'm betting it wasn't inexpensive. That project, which included the construction of the present track, was supposed to be the be all and end all. Improved drainage and the whole nine yards (pardon the football pun). Was it successful? Apparently not if one of the complaints is that the field is muddy. And...the track has already had to be replaced since then. If it was not successful, did anyone bother to speak with the contractor regarding remediation or did the district just sweep that under the rug?? Margaret and board....the taxpayers are not as stupid as you seem to think we are. This whole thing smells. Just because you have money in a capital improvement fund doesn't mean you have to spend it and in the process further increase the burden on the district taxpayers. While it may be accurate that currently districts cannot use money earmarked for capital improvements for district operations, I would think it likely that once the crap hits the fan from the state budget that lawmakers would be more inclined to pass a law that would allow districts that kind of flexibility.
Ryan Darch
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Showers aren't in compliance with Title IX? Talk about a law that has been taken advantage of! How aren't they?
kevin kretschmer
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Heinz Field and Soldier Field may be valid comparisons to make in this discussion, but not in a good way. They are both grass and are two of the three worst playing surfaces in the NFL, the third being the Oakland Coliseum.
Ricky G. Hale
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How much money has already been spent on engineering and architectural expenses? They don't work cheap by any means, nor should they. The fact is, somebody has already hired them for at least the work they've done to date (possibly more?). MONEY HAS ALREADY BEEN SPENT! Who authorizied such expenditure? I don't remember any such vote brought before the tax payers. Whose pipe dream is this anyways? I'm not calling anybody any names, but this reminds me of an old saying; "It's better to keep your mouth shut and to be thought of as being stupid, then to open it and remove all doubt". As far as I'm concerned, this stadium thing is one of the stupidest things I've heard in a long time.
Tim Howe
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3.9 Million? Are the Bills moving to Batavia?
wayne bell
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The field and the locker rooms are sub standard. If your son or daughter where hurt playing on the field or had a problem from the shower room , you would be the first to sue the school and how much would that cost the taxpayers ? I agree that programs being cut are not in the best intrest for the long run but I do see a need to do this project,
Peter O'Brien
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Kevin, Chicago made it to the semi-finals and the Steelers to the finals, again. The surface can't be too much of a hindrance to success.
wayne bell
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Also if Batavia does not get this money another school will.
wayne bell
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Peter Come on....You can not compare the fields in pro or major college to a local high school.. Mr Jacobs does a great job but he may have a budjet 1 hunderth of those pro and college teams. If you want to spend that kind of money then the grassfield would be up to the hienze field
John Roach
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Wayne, Then another school can raise its taxes on its residents. Let them sell the property on North Street and use that to cover the cost.
Mike Redick
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The new field doesn't really concern me since I don't live in Batavia, and my high school no longer plays its home games at Van Detta. However, back when we did play our games there, I thought it was a great field to play on. I don't recall us ever having any problems with the playing surface, even though we played our games on Saturday nights after BHS had played theirs the night before (not to say that this happened every week, but sometimes our home games coincided with theirs). And this was before they installed the current turf when the all-weather track was put in a little while back, as Mr. Meyer mentioned a couple of posts ago.
kevin kretschmer
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The showers aren't in compliance because there aren't separate male and female facilities, if I'm reading the story correctly. There's also the matter of bringing them up to compliance with disabilities accessibility. Insisting on using the Bears and Steelers comparison to this is a bad idea. By the time each respective Championship Game was played, the grass had been replaced three times, most recently in the week leading up to that game.
Ryan Darch
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I forgot the first thing on the cheeleaders mind after practice was showering at Vandetta Stadium.
Donna Kabel
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Well said Ron! I'm sure there is improvements needed and I know how quickly cost of things add up, but 3.9 mill seems excessive. Seriously, worried about muddy football games, are you kidding me. Lets find a way to help our schools keep educating our children and stop all the cuts, rather than worry about an artifical turf.
Janice Stenman
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Education costs have become totally out of hand. NY State spends more per student than any other state but ranks 39th in student achievements. I don't live in Batavia, but I am a Genesee County taxpayer, so I am interested in this topic. I did a little research and came up with some pretty astonishing figures. "New York spent $17,173 per student for public education in 2007-08, more than any other state and 67% more than the U.S. average, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics released Monday. The $10,259 national average — $6,914 less than New York — was a 6.1% increase over 2006-07, the Census Bureau said. New York's spending went up 7.4% over the two years. New York's per-student spending was highest in 2006-07 too at $15,981 per student, and the national average was $9,666." USA Today article: New York public schools top nation in per-student spending. Batavia public school figures: Number of Schools Managed: 5 Number of Students Managed: 2,426 students District Total Revenue: $40,642,000 District Expenditure: $49,012,000 District Revenue / Student: $16,753 [from NYS] District Revenue / Student: [local school taxes make up the difference] District Expenditure / Student $20,203 Number of households in Batavia: 6457 Population has declined by 7% since 2000 Ok....now I have a headache. I believe these figures to be accurate. If anyone else has complete, up to date figures, I won't be offended by being corrected. I agree with the majority of the posters here. This is way to big of an expenditure for the number of students in the district. And yes, there are more injuries on artificial turf.
Kyle Couchman
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Lets call this what it is.... A project the Superintendent and others want to push through and have us committed to BEFORE the axe falls. As some have pointed out the state may not give what they expect with the new fiscal attitude. What happenes then, we are left with a choice to fund it through the taxes or leave it undone which if it stops at a certain point along the way .... may make the facilities completely unuseable. We dont run our households financials on what if's and maybes. So why does the school district expect us to swallow them doing the same. Especially with that big black cloud coming on the horizon. I mean the skies are grey enough and no sunshine is coming soon.
Kyle Couchman
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I'm also reminded.... I glanced at bcsd website and one of the supposed benefits is that we can host other area sports teams and possibly allow use for a fee? How well did that work with the ice rink for the city? Reality never lived up to expectations there did it. It is safe to say that if there wasnt a tie in with the shared project expenses with the FD that the rink would be another empty building here like the Latina's Property or Ponderosa, or the other empty storefronts in downtown.
Peter O'Brien
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Actually minus the debt for the new zamboni the ice rink makes money. That aside, what other local teams are there? Notre Dame has a field. There aren't any organized adult sports that I have heard of. So who are these other teams?
Mark Potwora
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What are the yearly maintaince costs for this complex...It has to cost more to maintain every year..Alot of what ifs in Puzio's statements on the project...
John Roach
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Mark, Be happy that North Street sports park the school board wanted didn't get built. Otherwise, we would have it and still have this new project on the table.
Thomas Mooney
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LOL , Mark ,we are screwed either way . If the turf doesn't get done ,then they will go back to North street but this time with leveling and planting of grass and port-a-john's . No vote because there doesn't have to be one with no building being built . Bromley will get a pet project done either way . You chose what you want but one or the other will happen in the near future
Thomas Mooney
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Peter , Alexander has two or three Adult soccer teams . No place to play in Batavia . No place they are allowed to play in Batvia and the turf project won't change that either . The North Street project would have though .
John Roach
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Thomas, From what was said earlier, the North Street project needs the city to kick in money. So far, a majority of council does not seem to back any spending for it. If the public needs to vote on it seems to be a matter of debate if there is any capital buildings. If they just leveled the grass and put port a johns, I would support that (very minimal cost for what you get). But again, they could sell that land and use that money to offset the need for any bond issue for the football field. For some reason, they would rather borrow and tax us instead of going for debt free.
Corey Brown
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A solid majority of you need to read the article in it's entirety and possibly talk to someone who uses those facilities prior to jumping all over any new idea or tax. I understand the concern over a slight rise in taxes and I agree that this proposed plan is an over budget inflated version of what it needs to be, but there is a point to that. Now when they magically put out version F that costs 500,000 less, it will seem like a more attractive compromise to everyone involved. That being said, as a former athlete at Batavia who utilized the facilities, upgrades are truly necessary. The inside of the structure is older than I am, the facilities are nowhere close to title IX compliance, and none of the building is ADA accessible. These are blatant violations that force action. Niagara University is under the exact same scrutiny and is taking action to not only comply, but upgrade the facilities while they have a costly contract anyways. To top that off, the facilities "public" bathrooms and drinking fountains (now removed) need to be replaced so the public can utilize the facilities, instead of avoiding them due to a lacking of basic amenities. Most of you need to realize, (including the former football player commenting) that more sports use that facility than Football and Cheerleaders. Lacrosse, Soccer (M & W), Indoor Track (M & W), Track (M & W), Cross Country ( M & W) and currently softball all need use of those facilities. That is in addition to the Football team and Cheerleaders. On top of this, these sports (most of them) use this facility at Varsity, JV, and modified levels to varying extents. Too many people have the idea that the facilities are "fine". Do you want your 14 year old daughter walking through the Men's locker room, past the open style bathroom, through the unisex shower to get to her locker? If she is using the current facility, she will need to, unless to get a drink or her bag she should have to go outside the facility and around to doors that are frozen shut. The guys do not have to do that. The idea of other teams using our facility for money is not far off, considering the proximity of county teams, the ability to host more meets, tournaments, and events. The idea that this field costs more to maintain is absolutely 100% incorrect. Average maintenance fees for a turf field vary, but are consistently lower than replacing, mowing, and redigging grass surfaces. Maintenance involves a "raking" of the field by tractor once every 3-6 months. Considering the fact that so many more teams could use the field indefinitely, the costs of labor to maintain high quality competition venues would drop drastically. This is an opportunity to invest in the development of the future people of Batavia, not just worry about your own pockets. Kids who are not involved in extra curricular activities such as the aforementioned sports are 25% more likely to drop out of school, engage in delinquency (see tagger story), or abuse substances. Title IX isn't even about sports. It is about education, yet this application is a fair one. Take it from an actual success story out of Batavia, facilities like this can change children's lives and prepare them to help the future generations. I am sure a bunch of Puzio hating, blood thirsty tax payers will point out every flaw about my perspective without actually considering the facts, but I assure you, this is a very necessary improvement on a very important parcel of land in Batavia.
William Wombatski
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I twisted my ankle on artificial turf one time during powder puff game, and it still gives me fits.
Dave Meyer
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Hey Corey...thanks for your input, but before you start lecturing us "Puzio hating, blood thirsty tax payers" maybe you ought to consider the following. This field was just rebuilt 10 (or so) years ago at a cost of God knows what!! The football and other sports teams have this field to play on. They don't NEED to have an artificial turf field added. They don't NEED to have 75 parking spaces added. They don't NEED to have renovations done to the concession stand. I can see that perhaps some renovations to the locker room areas might be in order and I wouldn't get too upset about that. I would assume that those costs could be covered by the district's capital improvement fund and that it would not be necessary to go the $3.9 million route just to renovate the locker rooms. But as is typical of this board and this superintendent, they always have to do it BIG. Well guess what? The taxpayers have had enough with the overbuilt infrastructure of this district and this proposal is simply more of the same. This field has served the district well for a number of years and the improvements of a few years ago rendered this field good enough to play high school sports on. High school athletes don't need to have a carpet to play on. And before you think I'm some anti high school athletics basher, all three of my children have participated in interscholastic sports in the Batavia school system. One of my sons is a member of the Batavia High athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the 1991 foot ball team. That field was good enough for that team (and many teams before them) and it's good enough now.
Jacob Bell
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Every single one of you nay sayers are looking at short term, and have most likly never stepped foot in the place. The cost to maintaine the feild will most likly be HALVED with a turf feild. No mowing, no fertilizer, no seeds, no painting every other week. Now this money they save on a YEARLY basis is likly to go back into other aspects of the schools, since its grounds keeping budget. This could include gradens better playground feilds ect ect, stuff to get kids outside playing. The money being spent on the project CANT be used any other way, its a grant, which means it has to be used in what it was granted for. I know this because when I questioned the buying of two HDTVs at the high school, Mr Moore explained it to me. Its the same concept. The city asks the state for money for a certian project, if the state sees it nessary, they give them the money (left over money must be returned to the state). The whole place is a lawsuit waiting to happen. You walk in the locker room and 90% of the time there are puddles of water everywhere coming from god knows where. the bathrooms, to no fault of the custodians, is just sketchy, and cant be used be anyone with a wheel chair or anything of that nature. The ramp up to the stands is steep as hell, and again a person in a wheel chair and such would struggle, and possible roll backwards and get hurt. Where the lawsuites? A kid slips in the puddle of water, all medical epences fall on the district, if its bad enough a lawyer could find a suite. The bathrooms, handicaped person cant get to the bathrooms, has an 'acident', is very embaressed, sues the schools for pain and suffer and would win because their not legal. And then of course, the person in a wheelchair falls backwards gets seriously injured, maybe hurts a couple other people on the way down. 2 maybe 3 million dollar lawsuits. All of which result in the updates being forced on the schools when they may not have the money. The turf feild, thats maybe $1mil of the whole project, and again, the district will save yearly on mantiance. And all summer long its 100% likly to be rented out to the many summer soccer leauges all over the area. The reason that isnt done now is the feild needs all summer to recovers and be up to regulations for the next season. After this big spend, it will be another 30 +/- years before that much needs to be spent again. Every 10 years I beleive, theres a need to buy more fill, which is ground up tires. But thats maybe $100K, maybe every 5 years a need to repaint the lines. The north st project would cost more then double this because theyd have to put up fences, level the feild, put in the stands and all that stuff. Sports are much more likly to change a kids downward spiral and keep them off the streets then things like music art ect ect because it takes alot of thinking and you dont get to hit kids. This isnt a Puzio project either, Coach Jacos, and Bromley have been pushing this project for years.
Mark Potwora
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Corey whats the point of the name calling...Puzio hating, blood thirsty tax payers" ..Makes you sound like you got a chip on your shoulder..What, do you work for the school system..Do you own a home ..Are you paying property taxes..4 million is alot of money to spend..When all is needed is some up dating to the locker room area..Why do we have to build a new Hot Dog stand..What wrong with the old one..Why do we need 75 new parking spots..Does that make us all blood thirsty tax payers because we disagree with Puzio and the school board on this..Sell the land on North St. first and see how much money they get from that...Put that land back on the tax rolls..
RICHARD L. HALE
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Joined: May 22 2009 - 9:50pm
Lower bids from the contractors? You've already told them how much money you have for the project!!Cheaper I think, to build a whole new separate facility for the girls. And the mentality of "if we don't take the money, some other school will" is assinine. That kind of thinking has lead us to where we are right now...between a rock, and a VERY HARD place finacially. I vote No, not now.
Dave Meyer
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Joined: Feb 4 2009 - 5:37am
Hey uhhh Jacob. Two words for you - spell check. First of all, most people agree that the locker rooms need to be upgraded, but that doesn't make this a $3.9 million project. And, get your facts straight regarding the funding. The district has some money in a capital improvement fund which could be spent for a capital project like this. They would have to APPLY FOR additional state funding for any cost over and above what they have. That's NOT A GIVEN. ESPECIALLY in the current environment in Albany. I hate to keep going back to the last time this field was updated (again....not sure of the timing) but it was approx 10 years ago. Why weren't these issues that are so burning now a problem then. Title IX certainly existed at that time. Did the district simply choose to ignore those locker room issues at that time? What this sounds like to me is: the board hires an architectural firm and said firm sees dollar signs. So the project grows and grows to include a synthetic turf field, 75 parking spaces, updated concession stand (I love the Lions Club, but how is this the district's responsibility?) and they they throw in Title IX and ADA just for good measure to scare the public. And the board being the spendthrifts they are don't ask the tough questions that are being asked by the public in this forum. What Mark said above is right. If the board wants to do this, sell the North Street property and then we can talk.
Scott Strang
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Joined: Nov 10 2008 - 11:07pm
Just perusing the spelling in this forum lends me to believe the money should be spent toward increased educational efforts. I see Dave beat me to it. ;o)
Howard B. Owens
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Joined: Apr 23 2008 - 3:05pm
To call out somebody in informal comments on spelling, punctuation or grammar is inappropriate. It's not polite, it's unnecessary and it's the sort of thing that discourages others from sharing their views. What matters from anybody who wishes to weigh in is the content of their post, not how it's presented.
Peter O'Brien
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" Kids who are not involved in extra curricular activities such as the aforementioned sports are 25% more likely to drop out of school, engage in delinquency (see tagger story), or abuse substances" That has nothing to do with the facility. Those kids are ostracized by the high school environment. Most of them have no ambition to play a sport, let alone one like Football. And even if they were, having a different facility doesn't increase the number of spots on rosters. 1 in 4 kids aren't graduating from that school, and of the so called "disadvantaged" 56%. That is one percent better than the state minimum. A sports field and showers aren't going to change those numbers. And those numbers should be the school's only focus until they are greatly improved.
Peter O'Brien
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Joined: Mar 4 2009 - 1:24pm
"The money being spent on the project CANT be used any other way, its a grant, which means it has to be used in what it was granted for. I know this because when I questioned the buying of two HDTVs at the high school, Mr Moore explained it to me. Its the same concept. The city asks the state for money for a certian project, if the state sees it nessary, they give them the money (left over money must be returned to the state). " Why does it have to be spent? Answer: it doesn't. Also not all of the money is coming from a grant. That's why there is going to be a tax increase. They haven't secured the grant money yet either. I am sure its contingent on this coming vote. Not only that if it was true this place was updated just 10 years ago, and this project is going to take 15 years to pay off, at the cost of 1.65 MILLION dollars to tax payers, I wonder if the improvements are going to need to be changed before its paid for. Its like taking a 20 year loan out on a car that doesn't move after 10.

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