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The people speak

The Cazenovia School District Capital Project was once again trotted out for public viewing at a forum held in the high school auditorium last Thursday Aug. 17. The much anticipated event was well attended, well behaved and went well into the night, as slide presentations gave way to audience participation.

The Capital Project is an ambitious array of improvements, renovations, constructions, reconstructions, replacements and installations that will supposedly enhance the district in a modern, precautionary but responsible fashion. The Project will cost about $13 million, two thirds of which will be covered by state aid. If passed, school taxes will be raised by three to four percent.

The contentious aspects of the Project are mainly the safety and wear and tear of the artificial turf and the obtrusiveness of the lights, which would mean glare, night games, loud noise and more traffic.

Cazenovia School Superintendent Bob Dubik began with a slide show that detailed the needs for improvements. Ruts made in the grass showed that the Burton Street School drive has to be widened. Rips in carpet showed that it all had to be replaced. Chipped cornices were shown as imperfections. The bleachers in the gym were shown to come out too close to the playing surface. And the track around the football field was shown to be off level.

"The outdoor facilities are last," said Dubik. "We don't mean anything by that, it just happened that way."

The lights on poles that are 80 feet high were shown to give off less glare because they are high enough to point downward instead of at an angle. The bulbs themselves are shielded to yield more of a unidirectional beam. The proposed scheduling of athletic events were shown to make the most of the lights without overdoing it.

Other concerns with the turf included infections, knee injuries, concussions, the impact on the land and the lake and the fact that in might not last as long as it takes to pay it off. Mentions were made that the Burton Street school has no air conditioning and that a reading program was cut. And many wondered aloud why the Project had to be voted all or nothing, an issue the board and Dubik seemed to dismiss.

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