Bethlehem Central High School
continued The four board members voting in favor of the turf field were Giacone-Stever, Caitrin Navaro, Matt Downy and Lynn Lenhardt. Each gave reasons ranging from the opportunity to secure low interest rates and state aid, the need for the upgrades so as to provide a safe place for students to play sports and strengthening school spirit.
“I don’t think fiscal responsibility is doing the cheapest thing we can possibly do. It’s doing the best things you can do with the resources you come up with,” said Navaro. “The community is going to flip out at $60 a year, but if we take the turf off the board, it’s about $55 a year and the community is going to flip out at that just as much.”
Lenhardt said repairs have been made to the fields and track in recent years, but the facilities are still an issue and continue to cost the district money. She thought a turf field would be an asset over time and cut down on maintenance costs.
“What happens if we have to cut maintenance further and the new grass field isn’t properly cared for? Then we will be right back in the same position we are now,” she said.
Board members Michael Copper and Laura Bierman said they would be in favor of a turf field, but worry that if it is included in the same bond as other facilities upgrades, they run the risk of the entire bond being voted down over that issue. Both said they would like to see the projects split into two referendums.
“If we go with the third field option, it is a $30 million bond,” said Bierman. “I don’t think that’s going to pass and I don’t even think that we would support a $30 million bond here at the table, so however much more is put in the turf is taking away from our facilities that need to be done. It’s a want versus a need, and I think our needs are much more important right now and we have to do them.”