EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – Discussions in the Eastchester community continue as residents decide whether to support a near $2 million bond to replace the turf field at the high school.
The Board of Education has moved forward with a bond referendum that will cost $1.89 million in taxpayer dollars. If it is approved, a new, state-of-the-art synthetic turf field would be built in replace of the current field, which was closed in September as a result of safety concerns related to exposed seams and worn surfaces.
According to Superintendent Walter Moran, the cost to taxpayers for an average home assessed at $10,000 will be $29.90 per year over 15 years. The current field, which was installed in 2002, has out-lived its expected eight to 10 year lifespan. Moran added that the field is used by thousands in the community each day.
“The field is used daily by 800 middle and high school physical education classes and recess. After school, it is used by modified, JV and varsity teams for practices and games,” he said. “It is also used on the weekends by 2,200 participants in town leagues, and in the summer months, when school is not in session, it is used by the town summer camp program.”
The project isn’t limited to just the turf replacement. The bond also includes masonry repointing – removing deteriorated brick and installing new mortar to increase a structure’s longevity – a track resurfacing, and the installation of a perimeter fence and security cameras.
The field, track, cameras and fence comprise $1.05 million of the bond, while the repointing work will cost approximately $850,000. According to the district, they opted for a turf field over natural grass due to the field’s constant usage and because the foundation is already in place for a synthetic surface.
“Moving at this time to address these facilities and maintenance needs provides the best opportunity to reclaim the turf field for use by school and community athletic groups by next fall,” Moran said. “The repointing work, predominantly on the east-facing side of the buildings will make the buildings water tight, which will stop the deterioration of the interior space.”
Dan Schultz, the president of the Eastchester Eagles Sports Club, stressed the importance of passing the bond vote to parents and members of his club.
“The track is used by many in our community to run, walk and to maintain physical fitness during the day and evening,” he said. “Without question, both the track and the field are vital components of the school campus and our community.”
There will be a final informative meeting for the public at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 20 in the middle school cafeteria. The bond vote will be held from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12. Voters can cast their ballot in the high school gym or the Garth Community Room.
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