Northern Lehigh School District will shell out more than three-quarters of a million dollars for a multipurpose turf field.
The school board, on an 8-0 vote Monday, agreed to spend $770,000 for an artificial surface, scoreboard, and security camera system in the Bulldog Athletic Stadium. Director Mathias Green was absent.
As per the motion, the board entered into contracts with Field Turf to install the artificial surface ($699,000); Nevoc to install a scoreboard ($50,000); and another company to install a security camera system ($20,000), to be paid from the district's Capital Projects account.
The district recently received a $10,000 contribution from the Wasilauski family, residents of the district, to help pay for the scoreboard, noted Sherri Molitoris, co-director of Business Affairs/Human Resources.
Jim Shanahan, a representative from Field Turf, was on hand to answer any questions from the audience, which consisted of several handfuls comprised mainly of teachers and parents.
Superintendent Michael Michaels, who quipped that the majority of those in attendance were directly affected by the decision, said it was nice to see so many teachers and parents in attendance.
While not one member of the audience spoke on the matter, several board members expressed their gratitude with the fact the turf field will come to fruition.
Director Gregory Williams remarked that the move wasn't a spontaneous decision the board just arrived at; rather, it was months worth of research culled from various committee meetings.
Director Gary Fedorcha said he'd like to "thank those of you who put this all together for us."
Director Lauren Ganser told the audience "this is a huge undertaking."
"It is such a large amount of money," Ganser said. "We have been fiscally conservative, are fiscally conservative, and will continue to be fiscally conservative, and because we are, we are able to take on this kind of project."
Board President Edward Hartman noted the field will eventually be called Bulldog Athletic Stadium because it will be used not just for football, but field hockey, boys and girls soccer, the band, and the Northern Lehigh Youth Athletic Association.
"This is for the kids," Hartman said. "All the kids."
Director Natalie Green remarked "this is what makes our community so great."
Michaels said last month that he was concerned with the surface of the playing field, and added that referees have complained of the field's poor condition.
At that time, Michaels said the board could either choose to upgrade the stadium surface with natural grass, which would cost about $400,000; or, pay an additional cost of $299,000 for turf, which would raise the price for the turf field to $699,000.