Should Rocky Point Schools Spend $1M of Capital Reserves on AstroTurf?

Presentation on capital reserve projects includes synthetic turf, track restoration and reconstruction of instructional laboratories.

The Rocky Point School District recently held a community forum to introduce proposed capital projects, including the hotly debated topic of installing synthetic turf to the High School football field.

The estimated project costs include $1,010,000 for the replacement of the grass field with synthetic turf, $680,000 for the reconstruction of the existing track and $300,000 for the reconstruciton of instructional laboratories.

According to the presentation, all proposed projects, if approved by the Board of Education and voters, will be funded through the District’s Capital Projects Reserve Fund. The funding would not result in an increase in property taxes related, and if constructed as proposed, the projects would be submitted for building aid reimbursement from NYS at approximately 70 percent of the actual project costs. Reimbursement could potentially reduce the net cost to $597,000.

Arguments have been made both for and against the projects, specifically the astroturf. Supporters argue that it is a matter of safety for student athletes, while opponents feel that the money could either be better spent or shouldn't be spent at all. The powerpoint presentation and a turf field "fact sheet" are attached above.

What do you think of the proposed projects? Should the capital reserves be spent on these projects, on other projects or not at all at this time? Tell us in the comments below.

Stacy Golik-King September 24, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Stacy Golik-King September 24, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Ok the easiest way to make everyone understand...... .The money is in the budget. There will be no increase to your taxes. The budget is passed for a reason and put into all different areas for different uses. Increasing the modernization of our schools has funds allocated for use. The state reimburses modernization at 70%. The job will only cost about a third when all is said and done. OK ill ask you a question........ You want a new refrigeration for the kitchen the electric company says if you buy this efficient one for a $1000 we will give you back $700 dollars of your thousand Would you buy the refrigeration? Its a NO BRAINIER people keeping up with the times if we don't modernize as years go on the fixing or replacing of things cost will far supersede the expense now. And Really a 70% REIMBURSEMENT!!!!!!
Respect Everyone September 24, 2012 at 08:25 PM
We're the ones paying NY State taxes so that districts can have astroturf reimbursed at 70%. It's indirectly coming out of our pockets. If we're going to spend on capital improvements, let's spend it on more pressing needs - ask the parents, custodians, principals, maintenance workers, etc. instead of being bullied into a fancy field we don't need.
Bea Ruberto September 25, 2012 at 10:14 AM
Stacy Golick-King, you're assuming that getting the turf is the only way to go. Yes, if that were the case, you're right. But since we never got all the data, and we still don't, then your assessment doesn't make sense. It's like saying let's buy something we don't know if we really need because we'll get a 70% rebate. I don't think anybody with common sense would do that. At the "community" forum about the proposition to install the synthetic turf there was a lot said about all the advantages over grass and nothing said about the disadvantages. Here are some of the facts brought up last night taken directly from the District's fact sheet: At the firum it was stated that heat stress is not a problem: From the District fact sheet: “NYS Department of Health is unaware of any studies that have examined the role of artificial turf in contributing to heat stress.” So they really know! We didn't hear this from them. At the forum it was stated here that there are less injuries on artificial turf: From the fact sheet: “Studies concluded that there were no major differences in overall injury rates between natural and synthetic turf.”
Bea Ruberto September 25, 2012 at 10:29 AM
At the forum it was stated that there is less chance of infection on artificial turf: From the fact sheet: “This possibility [of infection] has not been studied systematically and no definitive statements can be made about the differences in risk between the two surfaces.” At the forum it was statedthat installing the artificial turf would allow for 24/7 use of the field. From the Fact Sheet: “Permitted use for synthetic turf field is 28 percent higher than for natural grass fields.” That doesn’t sound like 24/7 use. When these were brought up last night, Mr. Nofi's only answer was that he wasn't at the meeting and therefore had no commnet. No one else on the board responded to any of this. When I asked why, during the last budget process, rather than putting money aside to now use for the syntehtic turf they didn't use it to stay under the cap--Why they told us that they would need to cut kindergarden if we didn't pass the budget presented. This is what I was told. 1. Using it for kindergarden is a recurring expense whereas using it for the turf is a one-time expense--Again, this makes sense if the turf is a better way to go. 2. The funds are transferred after the budget is voted on--This doesn't make sense. The funds are transferred in June, one month after the budget vote, and they certainly knew then that they had the money. Other districts made changes to their budgets up to the time of the vote in order to work with the needs of the community.


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