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School Board to Host Open Work Session on Fields

The public will have a chance to offer input as the BOE considers ways to make athletic field improvements for the high schools more than a dream.

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.

Beth Bluj February 20, 2013 at 11:08 PM
Hi Natalie and thank you for posting this again. I hope there is a large turnout and that the BOE is going to present some real solutions to address the unsafe conditions which plague both high school fields.
Ed S February 21, 2013 at 01:05 AM
I wish the Superintendent and BOE would spend the same amount of time they have spent on the athletic fields on reducing class sizes, modernizing the classrooms, and getting our academic standards up to the top in the state. Efforts in these academic areas will increase home values in our community.
Mike February 21, 2013 at 03:11 AM
Instead of giving the cops those large payouts take that money and put it towards the fields. Don't use the sick days lose them. You figure that with Dezenzo and the next 10-12 that will be getting that large payout should come to almost five million dollars. Solution solved.
Scott Dean February 21, 2013 at 01:39 PM
Did receive an e mail last night from the district informing us about the meeting tonight about the field concerns at 9:30 pm.
Scott Dean February 22, 2013 at 02:36 AM
Hats off to the present BOE and all the members for providing the Parsippany residents with the open forum which I attended tonight.I believe there were many great ideas for a future with better conditions for all the kids.

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