Easton schools spike plans for new stadium
Citing costs, board members rejected a new $20 million Cottingham Stadium.
Easton Area School Board members Tuesday officially spiked plans for a new $20 million Cottingham Stadium.
Several board members on Sept. 10 said the plans were too expensive to justify. Interim Superintendent Frank D’Angelo withdrew a recommendation for the plans that evening.
On Tuesday, board members voted to reject the stadium bids, with Meg Sayago the only no vote and Robert Fehnel abstaining.
Now district officials are trying to come up with a cheaper way to do something about the nearly century-old stadium, which is in dire need of repair. D’Angelo said district officials and their architecture team are working to come up with a long-term solution. A temporary fix is not considered feasible, he said.
“We are working efficiently, but we will not work hurriedly because we want what’s best, and best comes in affordability and feasibility and practicality,” he said.
Sayago said she had planned to vote for the plans, and noted that the stadium was part of a multiyear capital plan that also included renovations to academic buildings. She said the district has also put money toward educational improvements by implementing the district’s 1:1 technology plan, all-day kindergarten and hiring additional teachers.
She said the Cottingham project demonstrates the district’s commitment to the city and its neighborhoods.
“The football program has a unique and special history and tradition in Easton that extends out to other athletic programs, music and academics,” she said.
A committee of stakeholders to consider the issue first met in December 2017, and officials have been discussing and reviewing stadium plans since then.
Officials hoped the board could approve the plans for the new stadium this month in order for a new stadium to be ready for next year’s football season.
In March 2018, the board was told that building a new stadium at the West Ward location would cost about $10.8 million, while building it at the high school in Palmer Township would cost $15.4 million.
The final bids for the stadium amounted to about $17.35 million in construction costs. If the board selected other options and factored in soft costs, the price tag rose to about $20 million.
The Easton Area School Board punted on plans to build a new $20 million Cottingham Stadium.