Car­di­nal Sta­dium plans mov­ing ahead fol­low­ing com­ple­tion of UDHS project

The Ambler Gazette - - POLICEREPORTS - By Linda Finarelli

There were smiles all around as an over­view of the Up­per Dublin High School project, now com­pleted ex­cept for some fi­nal touches and pa­per­work, was pre­sented at the Up­per Dublin School Board’s Oct. 8 meet- ing.

“The phas­ing [over four years] turned into a pos­i­tive and en­gaged the community throughout,” Arif Fazil of D’Huy Engi­neer­ing said. “It re­ally is some­thing for the 21st cen­tury.”

Fazil also went over de­signs be­ing made for Car­di­nal Sta­dium, which was not part of the high school proj- ect. The dis­trict is con­sid­er­ing putting in a turf field and re­plac­ing the track, which is in dis­re­pair, and Fazil showed a sketch propos­ing a new, hand­i­capped-ac­ces­si­ble sta­dium en­try.

“Cur­rent pri­or­i­ties are be­ing de­signed for bid,” he said.

Up­grades to bleach­ers, the con­ces­sion stand and score- board are not be­ing in­cluded, and would be some­thing to con­sider in the fu­ture, Fazil said.

Res­i­dent Roland Lindh crit­i­cized the board, how­ever, for spend­ing more on the high school than he felt was nec­es­sary, while “tens of mil­lions are needed for im­prove­ments to our other schools.” He also charged that a claim of in­creas­ing en­roll­ment had been made in propos­ing a new high school and the cur­rent el­e­men­tary school num­bers do not back that up.

Sev­eral board mem­bers dis­puted that claim.

“The high school was not jus­ti­fied by in­creased en­roll­ment,” board Pres­i­dent Joseph Ch­mielewski said. “We re­peat­edly stated that we were not build­ing it be- cause we had in­creased en­roll­ment.”

“What was said over and over was the build­ing was be­ing built to sup­port the cur­ricu­lum … updated sci­ence labs, updated tech­nol­ogy … and build­ings to sup­port the ac­tiv­i­ties,” said board mem­ber Mar­garet Bar­rett.

Lindh re­sponded that a Re­al­tor at one meet­ing had said a new high school would at­tract peo­ple with chil­dren to the dis­trict.

Board mem­ber Art Levi­nowitz noted the econ­omy has had an im­pact on the real es­tate mar­ket, with fewer houses turn­ing over, but said the num­ber of those en­rolled in kinder­garten in the dis­trict this year is “one of the high­est num­bers we’ve had in 10 to 12 years. I think we will see a trend and the num­ber will go up.”

Re­gard­ing needs at the other schools, Ch­mielewski ac­knowl­edged the mid­dle school “is to­ward the end of its life cy­cle. We are aware that Sandy Run is an is­sue that will need to be ad­dressed,” he said.

In other busi­ness, in keep­ing with its em­pha­sis on pro­vid­ing healthy foods in the dis­trict, the board ap­proved an agree­ment with Fresh Healthy Philly LLC for the place­ment of one vend­ing ma­chine at Sandy Run Mid­dle School and two at the high school that will sell “as­sorted healthy snacks and bev­er­ages,” pro­vid­ing the dis­trict with a 15 per­cent com­mis­sion from the sales.

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