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Article posted: 7/24/2013 9:00 PM

Sports fields revamp added to Batavia schools' capital plan

$13 million in work added to capital improvement plan

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A $13 million plan to revamp Batavia High School's athletic fields gained yardage Tuesday, as the school board agreed to add it to the district's overall capital-improvement plan.

But board member Gregg Hodge cautioned the public that the board has not yet agreed to enact any of it.

"Again, reiterating, this is just accepting a plan," Hodge said.

Tuesday's 5-0 vote directed the staff to work it into the overall plan, where it will compete for money and attention with items such as roof repairs, lighting replacement, parking lot reconstruction and boiler replacements.

The plan was unveiled in February. Buildings and grounds director Pat Browne said the district then asked people to submit comments about it online. Of the 50 comments received, 42 were positive, he said.

It calls for artificial turf for the main soccer/football field, and an artificial-turf field southeast of the stadium where a stormwater detention pond is. That field would be used for lower-level football, plus soccer and lacrosse teams and marching band practice. The detention pond could be put underground.

A committee of school officials, coaches, teachers, the Music Buffs and Bulldog Boosters support clubs, and representatives from teams worked on the plan for about a year.

With artificial turf, the school could use the fields more and be able to hold all practices and games on the high-school campus. Some sports teams and the band practice at Rotolo Middle School or elementary schools to prevent excessive wear-and-tear on the current grass fields.

The plan also calls for adding an eighth lane to the track and installing a bigger home-team grandstand. The school rents supplemental bleachers.

A maintenance building would be demolished, and the arboretum in the southwest corner of the campus would be removed.

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