I read with great interest the recent article where the Connellsville Area Board of Education voted down a proposal to update the track at Campbell Field home of the Falcons. I respect the young men and women of the "track and field" teams and coaches for their dedication to this sport and the success they had this year. They should have and deserve a "track" that is both safe and meeting modern day standards for competition for all events.
The current school board recently spent a half million dollars of taxpayer funds to replace the "field turf" at the stadium. Now you commission a "study" to spend $millions of local tax revenue to build a new facility at the high school? Are you going to remove that turf and transplant it to the new stadium? What would you do with that property? Would you sell it for ‘pennies’ on the dollar like the schools recently closed in the last several years to local businessmen?
I have two ideas for the nine board members to ponder before they go ahead with this "study." Here are the proposals I’m submitting as follows; Since our student population has diminished since the jointure in 1967, why do we need a two-sided seating arrangement at the current stadium? Maybe it’s time we "down size" that also? Why not tear down the old side opposite the press box and renovate the current facility to meet specifications for all events for the track program? It’s a lot easier to operate a facility with fewer personnel.
Face the facts fewer fans are packing the stands to come to high school football games. We have two good soccer programs that utilize the facility in the fall and from November thru February and part of March the current stadium is vacant. The east side of the stadium could be utilized strictly for the high school band personnel during football season. Aluminum bleachers could be added and be used as "overflow" seating if the need arose for any other special events.
Option two as follows: We still own and have the old Dunbar Township stadium that could be updated to one of the nicest outdoor track and field facilities in the county. Ample parking is present and a "press box" is already in place. The current storage facility located on school property could have upgraded restroom facilities added as needed with "locker rooms" installed for the athletes use.
I guarantee you one of these two options will be much less expensive that trying to cram a stadium built on top of the ground of former "wet lands" that the high school was! Why do you think they have that eyesore at the front entrance to the school to divert all they water that can occur there as evidenced by the storm of three years ago? The high school basement was flooded and did thousands of $ in damage. Can you imagine the congestion and extra traffic there?
Finally, allocate taxpayer money to the current Dunbar Township Elementary School that has not been totally renovated in years. The kids there deserve a gymnasium for physical education not a "multi-purpose" room/cafeteria as has been the case since it was built. Education should be the first priority when spending our money!
This is the last vestige of history of this town where the "Woodruff tree" still stands for over 80+ years, and where a Heisman Trophy Winner John Lujack played his high school football. Do not close this stadium and decimate the memories of the residents of this town and school district! Give these suggestions I’m submitting some consideration before you make any final decisions regarding the use of taxpayer funds about the building of an unnecessary new stadium,
Terry J. Boors is a resident of Connellsville and a CAHS Class of '67