Possible solutions to long-standing problems with the Bangor Area School District’s athletic fields were aired Monday night, including a feasibility study that outlined plans for a new stadium costing up to $8.8 million.
Board member Michael Goffredo said he had serious doubts about the projected costs and the plans, which would include what was referred to as the Ott field.
“This just isn’t going to work,” Goffredo said. “No way, for $9 million … you’re talking seven new fields on Ott field. No way.”
“I can tell you $9 million is not going to get you there, no way,” he said. “It’s going to be $20 million bucks if it’s even viable.”
In an update to the board Bron F. Holland, the director of athletics, said there are not enough practice and game fields.
And those that exist are in rough shape he said, covered with clover and weeds, and pools of water when it rains because there is no drainage.
Conditions are so bad on the baseball field, Holland said, that the district has been warned that if anyone gets hurt, the district will be liable.
The shortage of fields has caused disruptions in scheduling soccer, field hockey and other programs, he said.
With only one soccer game field, and no practice field, and with girls soccer moving to the fall, Holland said, “this isn’t enough.”
He told the board teams should not practice on the field they play on because practice sessions tear up the turf.
Scheduling the other teams has become a juggling act.
To gain more space the district spends about $80,000 a year renting fields at Bangor Park, a figure some board members said might be better spent financing the building of new fields that would be owned by the district.
Not everyone was swept up in the dreams of a new, multimillion dollar stadium.
“How can we talk about this?” board member Robert Cartwright said. “How are we going to afford it?”
Cartwright said the district is struggling with its $52 million budget and is “$42 million in the hole.”
Board member Ken Brewer agreed.
“There’s no way we can afford this,” Brewer said.
Even if the district were to approve the plans and spend the money, the project would take at least two years, in part, because there is a “bog turtle issue” on Ott field that would require a bog turtle survey.