Plan B for Colonie Central football field press box

Despite what you may have heard, the South Colonie Central School District is not building a new press box at Colonie Central High School.

The district cannot build a new press box on the athletic fields of the high school because South Colonie voters approved renovations to the existing facility 929 to 805 in October of 2008. The building does not meet current fire regulations.

We want to make sure that the accurate information is out there to the public. There was some inaccurate information floating around, Superintendent of Schools Jonathan Buhner said. "We just want to be clear on what we're currently doing with the old press box."

The facility was built over 40 years ago, according to the district's Communications Coordinator John Noetzel, and was found by the state Office of Facilities Planning and state Department of Education to be in violation of building code and not able to be used. The district made the building usable for an extended amount of time in 2008 by closing the top floor of the press box and adding scaffolding and fire escapes from other upper levels.

This was done as a temporary solution, Buhner said, until voters could approve a new press box to be built with money saved in the district's general fund " not costing the taxpayers any additional money, according to district officials. Prior to the vote, the district was given an extension for use of the press box until Nov. 22, 2008, at which time state officials said the facility could no longer be used.

The project would have cost around $149,000 if the taxpayers had approved the project at the vote in October, none of which is coming from taxpayers' pockets. But voters rejected the initiative, forcing the district to come up with a Plan B for the press box.

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