Fayetteville-Manlius voters turned out in record number March 5 to reject a $4.6 million proposal for a turf stadium at the high school. The vote was 4,213 (67 percent) against the project and 2,296 (35.3 percent) in favor.
The defeat came after months of heated debates and discussion among community members.
Supporters contended the 45-year-old stadium is outdated and unsafe, and the new plans would benefit children's physical education programs. The primary concern for opponents was another tax increase. Other issues included building amenities such as a $200,000 press box that many deemed unnecessary.
This was the second referendum in four years where residents rebuffed this type of project. In 2004, F-M voters defeated a $5.97 million renovation proposal that included a turf field valued at approximately $2.9 million.
So what's next?
For one, there are no plans to hold another referendum on the turf stadium, according to Dr. Corliss Kaiser, superintendent of F-M School District. The district is, however, working to improve the condition of the grass field, she said.
Additionally, improvements to the present stadium and finding ways to alleviate the congested parking conditions are also being handled.
"A new path to the field from the teacher/student parking lot at the high school has been developed and lighting for the path will be installed," Kaiser said. "In process is a bid for seating to improve accessibility for the disabled."