Shoreham-Wading River considering major athletic facility upgrades

03/03/2011 10:41 AM |
Shoreham-Wading River facilities administrator Robert Woolsey recommended that the middle school's track be removed and other athletic facilities be upgraded during Tuesday night's board meeting.

SAMANTHA BRIX PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River facilities administrator Robert Woolsey recommended that the middle school's track be removed and other athletic facilities be upgraded during Tuesday night's board meeting.

The track at Prodell Middle School in the Shoreham-Wading River School District is unsafe and should be removed, according to Facilities Administrator Robert Woolsey, who laid out a number of recommendations for athletic facilities around the district at Tuesday’s board meeting.

The track, built in the early 1970s, is cracked in many places and its base structure has deteriorated beyond repair, he said.

“The track right now is going to become an issue with safety,” Mr. Woolsey said at the meeting.

The track remains open to the public, but students don’t use it for running during gym class, said board president Jack Costas.

“The actual surface of the track has deteriorated to the point where you literally can reach down and pull a piece of top coat off, like pulling up a piece of carpet runner,” he said.

Removing the track would cost the district $60,000, while constructing a brand new track would cost $600,000. As the district, like others, is facing steep state aid cuts for next school year and looking to tighten its belt, Mr. Costas said the board is considering the less expensive option.

“While it’s a well utilized piece of real estate, it’s unfortunate that we don’t have the funds to upgrade it,” he said.

The track removal and other athletic facility upgrades will likely appear on ballot propositions for voter approval during the 2012-13 school year.

Other recommended athletic facility upgrades include the high school’s softball field, and tennis courts at both the middle and high schools. Suggested upgrades to the softball field, which would cost $450,000, would include ripping out and replacing the grass field, and installing a new mound, backstop and dugout.

The 10 tennis courts at the high school would need to be completely removed and replaced, and would require a new drainage system, would cost $645,000. The three tennis courts at the middle school need to be reconstructed and resurfaced, a cost of $240,000.

Mr. Costas said decisions to draft propositions would be based on community feedback.

“We want to get community input, gauge the community’s reaction to these kind of outlays and educate the community on the state of our faciltities,” he said.

samantha@northshoresun.com