CENTRAL VALLEY — A recently completed athletics complex upgrade at Monroe-Woodbury High School, costing more than $8 million, was damaged during recent snow removal attempts last month.
The stadium’s main athletic field, which hosts football, soccer and lacrosse, and the surface of the surrounding eight-lane all-weather track, were damaged Feb. 20 when equipment was used to clear snow. Superintendent of Schools Elsie Rodriguez informed ratepayers in a Feb. 26 memo posted on the district’s website.
“The district will take a two-stage approach to restoring the trail: temporary repair of damaged areas in early spring, followed by permanent repairs that should take place when temperatures are warmer, likely between May and June,” Rodriguez said. .
“We have not yet obtained an accurate measurement of the full extent of damage from the existing snow and ice cover, nor have we been advised of the estimated cost of repairs. Once thawed and a site visit by our architects, a full assessment and final estimate of the cost of the repair will be made. This information will be shared with the community.”
An athletic director, speaking anonymously, told USA Today Network the cost of repairs could be as high as $500,000.
Nearly two feet of snow fell in a Feb. 1-2 storm that blanketed the middle of the Hudson Valley. Unusually cold temperatures during the month of February did not allow sufficient snowmelt, prompting many school districts to begin efforts to clear fields and playing surfaces for winter athletics, and the start of “Fall II” athletics which was postponed from last fall due to COVID concerns. Sports like football and soccer started training on Monday, and the action will begin as early as this weekend.
Rodriguez said an investigation is underway and the school board “will take appropriate action regarding this incident.”
A capital improvement project totaling $8,391,000 was proposed in August 2018 and implemented with no impact to ratepayers. Two turf sports pitches have been replaced by artificial turf multi-purpose pitches. The stadium’s main field was striped and sized for football and lacrosse and near maximum size for football, and new energy-efficient lights were installed. Another field was striped and sized for soccer, baseball, lacrosse and softball, with lights added. The aging six-lane track was replaced with an eight-lane track that would include obstacle courses and jump pits.
A replacement of the secondary school’s cooling system was also included in the project.
Funding for this project included $4.4 million from a capital reserve fund and $4 million from borrowings, through serial bonds.
The stadium’s new ground was opened in time for Fall 2019 Athletics, with football and soccer matches played during the first two weeks of September of that year.