At the Nov. 22 Saucon Valley School Board meeting, representatives from The Architectural Studio provided their recommendations for the most pressing .
The Architectural Studio representatives explained that the district's field house and stadium should be considered top priorities due to a number of structural and plumbing repairs that need to be made and HVAC issues that need to be addressed. In addition, the district's insurance company is requiring that some safety upgrades be made to the stadium.
"That is a deplorable situation we have now," board member Charles Bartolet said, with regard to the field house.
The low bid to improve the field house is about $2.44 million, while the low bid for the stadium upgrades--including the safety upgrades required by the district's insurance company--is $149,000.
If the field house is renovated, a new locker room for visitors would be added on to the existing building, and a new weight room (with restrooms) would be built, as well as a trainer's room.
A third priority, as recommended by The Architectural Studio, is the district’s soccer field. The low bid for this improvement is $57,680.
Other athletic facilities upgrades under consideration are six-lane track improvements for a low bid of $457,000 and field hockey field improvements for a low bid of $271,000.
Superintendent Sandra Fellin said she would like to look into the possibility of installing an all-weather football field. She said she did some research and found that it would cost about $500,000.
However, The Architectural Studio told Fellin that due to the district’s subdrains, the cost would likely be higher--closer to $700,000. TAS representatives also told Fellin that if the district decides to install the all-weather field, they should wait to improve the track--again, due to the subdrains.
Parent Lori Kern asked about the district’s baseball field. She told the school board that the varsity baseball team only played one home game and had very little practice time this year due to flooding on the fields.
“This was a very unusual year,” Fellin said. “It was an extremely wet, wet season.”
Bartolet suggested looking at using Hellertown's for baseball.
School board member Lanita Lum said she would like to hear a presentation on community fields before she makes a vote on the field renovations.
“The public would like to know prior to (the school board) making field decisions,” she said. “I’m trying to prevent, down the road, someone saying we have the space.”
“We should hold off on the fields, but get started on the field house,” said Bartolet.
The sports facilities will be discussed again at the board's December meetings.