With the Jan. 22 failure of the Parsippany Board of Education's fields referendum, the body said it would consider new ways to make so-called fields of dreams a reality for township high schoolers. The process gets its start Thursday at 7 p.m. when the school board hosts a work session for specific discussion on the issue.
The public is invited to attend the special BOE meeting and to offer input on what specific items the town considers necessary for Parsippany High School and Parsippany Hills High School—and how to raise funds for such a project.
The issue has been discussed in the township for at least the past decade. The prospect gained notice in late 2011, when Mayor James Barberio and his Recreation Advisory Committee floated a $4.5 million plan for the fields that would have used Open Space Trust Fund money and required the school board to cede control over the school fields to the township.
The BOE balked at that idea and instead proposed a $7.7 million plan that included artificial turf fields for both schools, along with lights, refurbished tracks, fencing, Americans with Disabilities-compliant bleachers, public restrooms and more. Parsippany voters resoundingly rejected that plan when it appeared as a referendum on Jan. 22.
Shortly after the vote, BOE President Susy Golderer said that the board and citizens would have to come up with creative ways to finance the project, including accepting donations from the public and seeking corporate sponsorship.
The work session will be held Thursday at the BOE building, 292 Parsippany Road.