Last week, Fayetteville-Manlius voters turned out in record number to reject a $4.6 million proposal for a turf stadium at the high school. The referendum was held March 5 and after months of heated debates among community members. Supporters contended the 45-year-old stadium is outdated and unsafe, while the primary concern for those opposed was another tax increase. Other issues included building amenities such as a $200,000 press box that many deemed unnecessary.
So what's next?
"The present stadium has several areas which need to be addressed," said Superintendent Dr. Corliss Kaiser. "We will make recommendations to the Board of Education in the coming months regarding handicapped accessibility, traffic and spectator safety, and parking."
Additionally, to receive state aid for a turf field stadium, the stadium project had to be linked to some type of construction work on the high school campus, which in this case, was the $50,000 library repair that was bundled with the vote. According to Kaiser, it will still get done.
"The library repair is necessary and will be completed," she said.
When and how has yet to be determined.
Kaiser, who expressed her appreciation to all those who voted, said the referendum was developed in response to community interest, and identified the needs for students and various youth sports clubs.
"[The project] was well researched and met the necessary guidelines of the State Education Department," she said, adding that several public hearings were offered to inform the public of the facts.
Asked why she thought the referendum did not pass, Kaiser said she couldn't pin it down to one reason but did address the downturn in the economy as an issue that concerns everyone.