Estimates for needed repairs and upgrades to the school district's athletic facilities were presented to the Saucon Valley School Board Nov. 7, but school directors won't tackle the issue until next month, after the board reorganizes itself.
The Architectural Studio (TAS) presented low bids for field house improvements in the amount of $2.44 million, stadium repairs for $147,000, stadium improvements being mandated by the district's insurance company at $149,000, track renovations for $457,500, soccer field improvements for $57,680, and facilities for field hockey at $271,810.
All together, the work is estimated to cost the district about $3.56 million; however, board members and administrators said the improvements will likely be undertaken in phases to fit the district's budget.
Although the board said it will likely discuss the issue further, members indicated the matter won't return to their agenda for a possible vote on moving forward with repairs until after the board reorganizes in December.
In the meantime, district administrators have been tasked with determining which of the items are of the highest priority, and are expected to come back before the board with recommendations later this month.
Likely to make the list are at least some of the stadium repairs, said Superintendent Sandra Fellin.
Cracks in the cement have not been sealed in about five years, and the stadium has not had any serious maintenance work performed on it in the last 15 years, Fellin said. Sealing the concrete will likely save the district money and save the stadium from further damage, she added.
Other stadium improvements were recommended by the district's insurance company, Fellin said, and they mostly involve updating parts of the venue and bringing them in line with current safety standards. Since the company has indicated the upgrades must be made for insurance to continue and to protect the district from liability, these will likely be done first, she said.
“It's one of those maintenance things that has to be done,” Fellin said.
The district may also see some savings on the projects, she added, noting that plans for soccer have changed since bids were called for, and fewer soccer field improvements may be needed than originally thought, although programs won't be impacted.