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Board gives green light to Greencastle stadium project

April 07, 2011|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • About 300 people showed up at Greencastle-Antrim Middle School for a Greencastle-Antrim School Board meeting Thursday as taxpayers awaited the board's vote on whether to move forward with spending more than $2 million on the district's athletic complex.
By Roxann Miller, Staff Writer

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — The Blue Devils won't have to play on substandard fields much longer.

At a Greencastle-Antrim School Board meeting Thursday, the middle school cafeteria was packed to almost overflowing as taxpayers awaited the board's vote on whether to move forward with spending more than $2 million on the district's athletic complex.

By a vote of 6-1, the board voted to award the $2.2 million stadium improvement project bid to David Martin Excavating of Chambersburg, Pa., for the sitework, field and track, and Monacacy Valley Electric of Littlestown, Pa., for the electrical work to replace the lights at the stadium.

The project includes the football stadium, a second field and the lights at the stadium. Both fields are proposed to be covered with artificial turf and are to be ready by the fall.

Board member Eric Holtzman was the lone dissenter on the vote. He also voted against approving a $2.5 million bond for the project. The $2.5 million includes the $2.2 million for the work as well as other "soft" costs such as architect's fees.

Board members Brian Hissong and Paul Politis were not present.

"I'm willing to put this in, but I'm not willing to tax people. I don't think this is the right time to do this," Holtzman said, referring to potential teacher furloughs throughout the state and a lagging economy.

During the one-hour public comment session held before the board voted, eight residents spoke in favor of the stadium and about 16 spoke against it.

Max Houck was the first to speak out against the project.

"I strongly oppose spending taxpayers' dollars on the stadium," he said. "In 10 years our high school students will be saddled with these taxes as their inheritance."

He said the stadium should be funded with a capital campaign that targets private funding and not taxpayer dollars.

David Spencer supported fixing the dilapidated fields.

"Something needs to be done now. We have already passed the point of fixing them (track and field). It's too late. We have waited too long — it is unsafe," Spencer said. "My taxes will probably go up about $25. I can probably do without McDonald's for one meal."

Mike Baker is on a fixed income and said he can't afford a tax increase.

"There are a lot of businesses in this community that can help. I can't afford these taxes. A tax increase might send me into bankruptcy," Baker said.

"We can't afford it," Mary Doub said.

Superintendent C. Gregory Hoover said the stadium project could be funded from the capital campaign, naming opportunities and the $1.5 million capital reserve fund.

On April 13, the public is invited to a meeting at 7 p.m. in the G-AMS library to discuss a capital campaign.

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Public meeting

On April 13, the public is invited to a meeting at 7 p.m. in the Greencastle-Antrim Middle School library to discuss a capital fundraising campaign.

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