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Local

Residents to address proposed Batavia athletic field plan

BATAVIA – A group of residents want Batavia School District 101 Board members to reconsider their approval of a plan for an estimated $13.4 million in improvements to Batavia High School’s athletic fields.

“I don’t like that it is being rushed through and it is something we can’t afford,” Batavia resident Sylvia Keppel said. “There are also problems with artificial turf.”

Keppel and other residents plan to voice their concerns at today’s Batavia School Board meeting.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. at Rosalie Jones Administration Center, 335 W. Wilson St.

School board members in July approved the improvements, part of a proposed master plan for the fields. Pat Browne, the district’s director of buildings and grounds, has said there is no timetable for the project.

“We don’t think the school board has bad intentions, they just don’t have all the points of view,” Keppel said. “We want them to reconsider their decision, or at the very least, put it to an advisory referendum.”

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

Chicago-based architectural, engineering and construction firm Wight & Company came up with an estimate of $13.4 million for the project.

That amount 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 plan also includes $4.2 million for the 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.

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