EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – After evaluating their options and discussing the project within the community, Eastchester residents will finally have the opportunity to vote Thursday, Dec. 12, on the school district’s $2 million bond to replace the turf field at the high school.
In October, the Eastchester Board of Education voted unanimously to move forward with a $1.89 million bond that would replace the synthetic turf field at the high school. The bond would also cover masonry repointing work at the middle and high school, as well as security features for the field.
According to Schools 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 thousands in the community use the field each day.
Rob Summer, the Board of Education president, added that the project is of importance to both the school district and community.
“Equipment has a lifespan, and this bond will address a few areas in need of repair that cannot be funded through the annual budget due to the tax cut. Some of our bigger needs need to be addressed in a different way,” he said. “We’re trying to do it in a sensitive way to the taxpayers, so we kept the project to the absolute essentials.”
In addition to the turf replacement, the bond would also fund 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, officials 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.
“It makes more sense for us, with the footprint of a synthetic field already in place, to continue with that,” Moran said. “Most districts in the area use turf, it can withstand the constant use better. A grass field would need to be taken out of rotation, rested and repaired. It’d make it quite difficult for us given the amount of use.”
The vote on the bond will be from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the high school gym or the Garth Road Community Room. Absentee ballots must be returned no later than 5 p.m. on the day of the vote.
If voters approve the bond, it will be forwarded to the state Education Department for review. The work will then be put out to bid and awarded to the lowest bidder. Work on the field would begin in the spring, and is expected to be finished in the fall. The masonry work on the middle and high school should be completed by the beginning of the school year.