To the editor:
It would appear that the $3.5 million bond issue recently posted in a story in The Tribune is receiving little attention.
Of that $3.5 million, $1.5 million is slated for the Cortland school for a new cafeteria and kitchen, a much-needed renovation.
The other $2 million appears to be earmarked for a new soccer facility behind the high school. It has been stated this would include restroom and concession buildings, and other support fixtures.
The need for a soccer palace that will consume multi-use property is something that should be questioned a bit more. The C. B. Hess complex (at Freeman Field) has several support buildings and multiple practice areas and is set up for soccer. It has been said that parking, situational flooding and lighting have been viewed as pragmatic.
One reason stated for the field at the school is to “attract” sectional attendance. Given our well-known gym size and the overflow parking that the field provides for events there, it begins a series of questions.
Planning and logistics of future events for all activities, (local and district) will require close planning to prevent conflicts of support and parking. There will be long term maintenance and upkeep that will require manpower and funding (read taxes). Additional energy resources, chemicals and water will be required to maintain and light the complex (more taxes), due to the long season of the soccer sport.
Would it not be more prudent to invest in improvements to the Hess complex at a fraction of the cost, rather that create yet another facility that will add to the long-term and increasing school budget? There are many other pressing projects in the city that could benefit the community such as sidewalks, lighting, youth resource centers etc. from floating $2 million bond issues.
Our sports programs are great and needed, however they have become involved and costly and out of reach for many students. This adds to the bottom line of just how many and at what level this field would benefit the whole community.