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Fields ignite turf battles

The Scotia-Glenville Board of Education listened to concerns from parents, teachers and coaches at the Monday, Jan. 28, meeting about the condition of the athletic fields and facilities in the district. About 40 people gathered at the Lincoln Elementary School library to speak out about what they said should be a top priority for student athletes.

You go to other districts and then you come back and see our fields, and it's embarrassing. It's hard for the students to get motivated because, when they see the shape of our track and fields, they feel like the district doesn't support or care about the sport that they love and work hard at, said James Krough, who coaches indoor track and field.

The board heard from several other people, including parent Karen Wentworth, who echoed some of Krough's arguments.

"My question is, 'Why is it even up for debate?' We have a commitment to be engaged in sports and to the safety of those students who play them. Just as we care for our buildings, we have to do more for our athletic fields. My children are graduating, but as a community member, I want to see this fixed," Wentworth said. "If it were an academic issue, we would not be having this discussion. It's about giving our students pride in their school."

Board President Margaret Smith told the audience that the board has been talking about improvements to the fields since September.

"There are so many variables to consider; we ask that you keep that in mind," said Smith.

After a lengthy discussion, the board agreed to study whether the district should install a multi-purpose turf field in the football field and track area that could be used by several sports.

The board is also facing needed repairs and upgrades in every building. These types of repairs will be covered by a combination of state EXCEL aid and building aid, with no cost to the taxpayers.

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