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CLIFTON PARK: Shen AD seeks grounds upgrade

Shenendehowa High School Athletics Director Matthew Jones proposed a $3.9 million plan for track and field renovations at the Shenendehowa Central School District's board of education meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 30.

It's been a continuous issue of losing green space, Jones said. "With our community growing, this way is the way to go."

Saying that the project would be eligible for state aid, Jones said that putting down artificial turf on the existing sports ground would level the playing field for all students at Shenendehowa High School who could use the surface for physical education classes. "We have used the football field for 10 hours a week in the fall, and the proposal is to turf the field to use it for phys ed for nine periods a day," Jones said.

Jones also suggested adding 1,000 seats in the stadium, additional restrooms, and moving concession stands to alleviate congestion at entranceways. Meanwhile, he said that the district could use state aid for track renovations, additional bleachers, and site development which would cost over $1.1 million.

Head football coach Brent Steuerwald, said that renovations are needed to provide ample room for existing high school athletics teams.

"It's a history of shrinkage. When I came in as coach in 1967, there were eight varsity sports, no women's athletics, and we had ample room," he said.

Though a few board members expressed concerns over injuries associated with artificial turf, Steuerwald said that it is made of new materials that are much safer. He also said that real grass holds more potential for injury after multiple uses.

"Safety diminishes after using grass," Steuerwald added.

Jones said that his plan was preliminary and that his intention was to solicit support from the board of education.

According to district spokeswoman Kelly Deficiani, the board would have to review the plan and decide what to do at a later date.

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