UDSB approves engineering designs for stadium improvements
The Upper Dublin School Board approved a contract for the creation of designs for improvements to Cardinal Stadium during its Aug. 13 meeting.
A $54,750 contract was given to D’Huy Engineering for design services and specifications for improvements to Cardinal Stadium.
D’Huy Engineering gave the district a $10,000 credit because of the amount of work they have done in Upper Dublin Township, said district Business Administrator Brenda Bray.
According to information from the district, the stadium is in need of significant renovations and improvements.
“The scope of proposed work includes replacing or resurfacing the existing synthetic track and field event facilities and replacing the grass surface with synthetic turf. Community groups have pledged $7,000 to partially defray the cost of the contract,” according to information from the district.
Board President Joseph Chmielewski said the district, with that $7,000 donation, will be preparing to pay $47,750. He said he thought the bid number was “inflated above” the possible $40,000 the board discussed at the last meeting.
“I think there’s an additional $8,000 dollars of additional work that needs to be done to bring that forward as far as approvals are concerned,” he said. “To be very specific there’s a kPDES [kational Pollutant Discharge Elimination System] and conservation district approval which is changing. It’s something that we have to obtain their approval. It’s $8,850 for that and then the bid phase piece is $5,000.”
Chmielewski said if the work were to take place, it would provide drainage through the turf where the water would be sent to the basin built for the high school. He said all drainage issues coming from the high school field would be taken care of completely.
The 25-year-old track has been resurfaced twice and has cracks in it. Turfing the stadium would provide field access for S,000 to 7,000 youths that participate in townshipsponsored sports programs, according to Bob Danaher, of the Upper Dublin Junior Athletic Association, during last month’s meeting. He said use of the field “would go up hundreds of times” if it were turfed.
Danaher said, “If you replace the track and don’t do an artificial turf at that time, it won’t ever happen.”
Over the past four years, athletic associations have been raising money for a turf field estimated to cost $1 million, Danaher said, noting they so far had raised approximately $425,000. He said a $100,000 place hold by the township commissioners was in the budget should the district decide to move forward with the new field.
During the public comment section of the meeting, Michael hlein said he’s served on the committee that divvies up field and gym space and if the district doesn’t turf the field, there are three options, all of which would negatively impact youth sports. The first would be to limit the number of kids in programs, the sec- ond would be to increase the number of kids on a team and the third would be to increase the number of teams on a field, limiting time on a field.
hlein said the fields were in “bad shape” from overuse and were not meant to constantly be in use.
Chmielewski reminded everyone in attendance the vote was for the engineering designs and an approval vote wouldn’t take place until winter. He said it was obvious the turf field would be beneficial to the community, noting it would help the district with PE classes.
In other business, the board continued to deal with the issue of nutritious food being served in schools after it was suggested not enough was being done during the public comment section of the meeting.
Jill Florin and Stacey Appelstein, concerned parents who are part of the group kutrition in the Schools, said the task of removing preservatives from the ingredients used in food was made to seem like an insurmountable task by the food services director but said they felt it was very doable.
The two felt the board was receiving misinformation that would allow the district to keep serving unhealthy foods.
Appelstein suggested the district was receiving monetary rebates from companies like including Frito-iay and Jennie-O processed turkey products, both of which are purchased by the district, for continuing to use their products in schools.
Bray later replied the district did in fact receive rebates, but they weren’t significant.
Superintendent Michael Pladus said it’s difficult to balance nutritious foods versus a bottom line but said the community members who spoke at the meeting represented strong community involvement. He said the district has set a high bar for itself and it has made reaching that bar difficult. He said it was a challenge but they were working on it.
Board sice President Debbie Mendelson called the food services situation a difficult situation and said she hoped the board would look into information to be able to offer healthy food without being in the red.