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Irvington Schools To Examine Athletic Field Fixes

IRVINGTON, N.Y. – Irvington school officials are moving forward with plans to study and fix drainage issues on the athletic fields on the high school and middle school campus.

If school board members decide to follow a timeline proposed by Superintendent Kristopher Harrison during Tuesday's Board of Education meeting, a bond referendum could be held in November and the fields could be ready for use in fall 2013.

Board Vice President Phil Whitney characterized the move as the “very, very first step in what is going to be a long and involved discussion.”

“It's no mystery that our fields have been tough for us to keep in good shape,” he said.

Problems have been noted at two fields on the school campus for several years : Meszaros Field, which is used for practice and games, and the East Field, which is used for practice. Drainage needs to be improved at Meszaros Field, school officials said, while the ground needs to be leveled out at the East Field.

Facilities Director Gary Knowles said the district has been taking extra steps this summer to prepare Meszaros Field for the school year, including additional aerations, which loosen up compacted soil, and over-seeding, which helps grow more grass.

Harrison gave school board members a potential timeline to follow, saying it would make the fields safer for athletics, allow public feedback and separate a possible referendum from a budget vote. The timeline allows architects to study the field, draw up plans and provide cost estimates to the board so that they can make a decision in October. If a bond resolution is needed, Harrison's timeline would put that during the November elections. Construction would take place over the summer.

School board members agreed that both fields need to be fixed, although some were hesitant to move through the process quickly. The board agreed after Tuesday's hourlong discussion that the first steps should be taken now and the timeline would be assessed as everything proceeded.

“I think we can move forward,” school board member Robert McCann said. “We've been talking about this for five years.”

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