It was a low turnout for a public meeting on Thursday evening that was meant to give the public more information about the multi-million-dollar capital improvement project for Utica schools’ athletic facilities.
Only four people showed up to the meeting at Proctor High School, where Utica voters had their first chance to ask questions about the $15 million project that will be voted on Aug. 14. The project includes upgrades to facilities at Proctor High School, John F. Kennedy
Middle School and James Donovan Middle School. The project includes three separate parts, which will be voted on individually.
Utica resident Al Casab was one of the four voters who turned out for the meeting on Thursday. His daughter plays soccer and basketball for the school district.
“It is one of the reasons I decided to come out tonight,” Casab said. She plays soccer and I know that this turf is in really bad shape and needs to be replaced. I know that was on the proposal there so I wanted to see what it was all about.”
Some of the other planned upgrades include resurfacing the track at Proctor High School, adding a field house for storage, bringing in a new scoreboard, and reconstructing the tennis courts. There’s also a plan to make improvements to the track and field at both JFK and Donovan middle schools. If approved, it would increase taxes by roughly $17 per year.
“I think it's good. I mean, the facilities definitely needed upgrades, it's just which ones are more advantageous than others,” Casab said. “The field is definitely one, the bathrooms, the concession stand. Those all needed and probably should've been done when they built the stadium.”
Utica school board members say the changes to the athletic fields will not only benefit the students but the Utica area as a whole.
For more information about the project and the list of upcoming public meetings, click here.