The Eastern York school board once again is debating whether putting turf on the district's football field should be a priority.
School board member Darvin Shelley told his colleagues last week he believes the project "simply needs to be done."
But not all board members agreed with that assessment, and discussion of the issue is expected to continue at the 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, meeting.
"We've been talking about the nature of our field since 2008," Shelley said. "The field is simply no good."
Shelley suggested the board consider using some of the $1.9 million the board currently has set aside in its capital construction fund.
"This money can't be used for anything but construction," said Shelley. "We'd be irresponsible not to use it."
Business manager Teresa Weaver corrected Shelley, saying that the board could use the funds in its capital construction fund for technology infrastructure as well as building improvements.
Cost estimate: The district bid the field project in 2010, with cost estimates coming in around $800,000 to put turf in place and refinish the track. The project was later rejected by a narrow vote.
Board member Richard Zepp said he agrees the fields need to be addressed. But he said he's concerned the public doesn't understand how construction funds work and that the district will look irresponsible if it is limiting fuel expenditures by restructuring bus routes and considering program cuts, but
"We need to prioritize," said Zepp, "and while it is true this money can't be used to hire new staff or purchase laptops, it can be used to upgrade some of our facilities that might be a higher priority than a turf field."
Added board member Wanda Miller: "I understand that the money can only be spent on certain things, but I just need to make sure that those things are a priority. Temperature control issues at Canadochly seem like a priority to me."
Board members Ron Abel and Lorraine Kellner agreed.
Kellner said she couldn't support moving forward with a turf field when other items like roofing still needed to be discussed.
"Our buildings are leaking and we need to address these problems, not fix a field just to make it look nice. Our fields have been like this for 50 years," Abel said.
But Shelley said he thinks those fields have "reached the end of their lifetime."