John Jay HS to get New Athletic Fields

Katonah-Lewisboro spending resolution passes 

By Sean Gorman • • The Journal News, December 9, 2009

LEWISBORO — Katonah-Lewisboro school district voters easily approved a resolution Tuesday that calls for spending roughly $3.13 million for sports fields improvements and other work at John Jay High School.  The measure passed by a vote of 1,593 to 758, according to unofficial tallies.  School board President Michael Gordon called it a "terrific outcome." 

"It tells us that this community believes, as the board does, that physical education, health and wellness are a part of our core programming," Gordon said. "If we’re going to get kids out playing, we need to make an investment."

District officials pushed for the resolution’s approval, noting that while their current playing fields haven’t changed much, their use has grown.  The referendum asked voters to approve construction of two new fields on the 8-acre AP Farm property across the street from the high school.

In addition to restroom facilities, a rectangular turf multipurpose field and a grass softball field are planned. The property was donated to the district June 29 by Cross River residents Adam Rose and Peter McQuillan.

The district’s proposal also calls for renovating an existing baseball field on the high school campus.  The money for the improvements will come from a capital reserve fund that residents approved creating in a March referendum.

Sheri Gottfried, a 51-year-old Goldens Bridge resident, voted against the referendum. She said the district’s fields seem fine, and she questioned spending money in a sluggish economy.  "We don’t need to use money right now when people are hurting in this town like everywhere else," Gottfried said after voting at the Increase Miller Elementary School "I really think if you have the money that we may need for a building repair, let’s keep it."

Patrick Filacchione voted in favor of the referendum. He said the baseball field that would be renovated is in "terrible disrepair."  "There’s potholes. There’s uneven playing surface," said Filacchione, a 48-year-old Lewisboro resident. "There’s been people (who have) tripped. They’ve fallen down."

Tuesday’s referendum also called for spending money to install air conditioning in the high school band and chorus rooms. Musical instrument storage lockers will also be installed there.