The Sag Harbor School Board has been given the green light to renovate the athletic field at the Pierson Middle/High School with natural grass after district voters approved the board's plans, 458-73, on Wednesday night. Polls were open all day and were closed at 9 p.m. with 578 total votes submitted, including 47 absentee ballots that also favored the board's plans, 35-12.
"I really want to thank all of our community and our parents for their high level of involvement, even the ones that voted no," Superintendent Katy Graves said moments after the results were announced at the Pierson Middle/High School gym.
"I really appreciate them for their thoughtfulness and their commitment to our children. Now we can finally move forward after three years."
Ms. Graves went on to say that the next immediate step the board has to take is working with BBS Architects, the firm the board will be working with for the renovations, and submitting the new plans to the state. She hopes that construction on field at Pierson will start by this coming summer and work on the Elementary School field to start in the summer of 2018. School Board Vice President Thomas Schiavoni also credited how quick and efficient the legislative process was, along with the immediate response to the community.
"I think the response is loud and clear and we're looking forward to beautiful, natural grass fields in Sag Harbor for years to come," he said.
Residents of the Sag Harbor School District will vote on Wednesday to determine if the School Board can spend the funds to make improvements to the Pierson Middle/High School athletic field.
The vote will determine whether the board can reallocate $1,450,584 from the $1.62 million originally approved by voters in November 2013, when the board intended on constructing a synthetic turf field.
That plan was voted down, 1,016-135, in December after months of parents raising concerns about the hazards of kids playing on synthetic turf.
The natural grass field will be 75 yards by 110 yards and used for soccer teams, gym classes, and recreational use for the students. The school also plans on building an additional 40 yard by 75 yard sod practice field at the Sag Harbor Elementary School, along with additional improvements to both fields, including installing concrete stairs down from the Middle School gym and reconstructing the multi-purpose court area meant for basketball and tennis at the Elementary School.
The voting will take place at the Pierson gym with polls closing at 9 p.m.