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Greencastle-Antrim board okays bid advertisement for stadium renovations

February 17, 2011|By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — Blue Devil athletes are one step closer to playing on synthetic turf fields next fall.

The Greencastle-Antrim School Board voted 7-1 Thursday night to authorize the administration and its architect, EI Associates, to advertise and begin accepting bid documents for its planned renovations to its stadium and practice fields.

The renovations include resurfacing the track and installing turf at Kaley Field, with alternate bids for lighting, scoreboards and an additional turf practice field located to the north of the existing stadium.

Although it depends on the bid packages, the district anticipates the project to cost around $2 million.

Board member Eric Holtzman voted against the motion while board member Paul Politis was absent.

The board plans to begin sifting through bid packages at its March 17 meeting, but will first need to receive a zoning variance from the Greencastle Borough Council on March 3, the same date of the board's next meeting.

Board President Joel Fridgen said representatives from the Harrisburg, Pa.-based EI Associates are to attend the council meeting, then report back to the board.

A concerned Antrim Township resident, Paul Barnes, spoke up against the renovations during the public comment period of Thursday's meeting.

"Why do we need synthetic fields?" he asked the board. "This thing is millions of dollars over our head."

Barnes also mentioned the increasing burden on the district's tax base. He highlighted a rising trend of delinquent utility bills in Antrim Township.

"If this continues growing, how are you going to collect the taxes?" he asked, referring to possible increases in school taxes to help bridge the district's projected $1.7 million budget gap for next year.

With girls' soccer transferring into the fall season next year, Fridgen said increasing volumes of games and practices create a dilemma for athletics at Greencastle. Football and boys' soccer will also be in season, which gives the fields "no time to recover" from continued use, he said.

"That's the dilemma we are in," Fridgen said.

Durability and less required maintenance make turf fields attractive options.

"Many schools in the Mid-Penn Conference already have turf fields," Fridgen said.

Neighboring Chambersburg Area School District has a turf field installed at its football stadium.

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