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No timetable ready as District 101 looks at field improvements

BATAVIA – Batavia school board members continue to look at a proposal for an estimated $13.4 million in improvements to Batavia High School’s athletic fields.

The three new members on the school board along with the other board members were briefed about the proposal at Tuesday’s school board meeting. Kris Monn, the district’s assistant superintendent for finance, emphasized there is no timetable for the project.

“These projects could also be phased,” Monn said. “They could be phased in over many years.”

The improvements are part of a proposed master plan for the fields.

The master plan was developed after meetings with groups that use the athletic fields, school district administration, maintenance staff and school board members.

“We will bring it back this summer and ask for this to be the vision of the board and ask you to adopt it,” Pat Browne, the district’s director of buildings and grounds, told board members.

Residents also can comment on the plans at the district’s website, Chicago-based architectural, engineering and construction firm Wight and Company came up with an estimate of $13.4 million for the project.

That includes $4.5 million for the high school’s football stadium, including installation of a synthetic turf field and improvements such as bleacher seating for 2,500, a press box, a scoreboard and stadium lighting.

The proposed master plan also includes $4.2 million for installation of a multiuse synthetic turf field and other improvements; $1.5 million for a new maintenance garage/storage facility; $787,000 for the northwest parking area; $715,000 for the varsity baseball field; $616,000 for the junior varsity baseball field; $590,000 for the varsity softball field; and $408,000 for tennis court lighting.

As proposed, trees in an arboretum on the athletic fields would be removed to make way for the improvements.

“We’ve had to remove trees in the arboretum that were infested with the emerald ash borer or too densely planted,” Browne said. “We’d like to see that redeveloped and re-memorialized in an area that people can enjoy more.”

Browne said the improvements will allow students to practice and compete on high school grounds, which isn’t the case now. The improvements aren’t ranked in terms of priority.

He said expanding the track to eight lanes would help when the high school hosts bigger track meets.

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