Now that its high school athletic field project is pressed against its budget, the Glen Rock school board will have to dip into an emergency capital fund to pay upcoming bills.
With a $176,000 change order approved Monday, costs for the referendum portion of the project are at $4.5 million of the budgeted $4.6 million.
The district will have to dip into its capital budget to finish up the baseball-related work, according to school board president Rona McNabola.
According to state law, any money specifically budgeted to referendum work can not exceed the voter-passed budget figure unless a waiver is granted by the county. The district can pay for projects with its capital budget, however. The baseball field work falls under that category.
Per McNabola, the remainder of the project – which comes out of capital outlay, not the referendum – could tally up to $400,000, drawn out of the $800,000 emergency capital fund set aside in June.
"For the baseball project we will be using some of that money," McNabola said. "We really won't know what that number is until the bids come back on December 18th."
Prospective work includes re-grading of the outfield, a sprinkler system, new dugouts, protective fencing, among other upgrades. District Business Administrator Michael Rinderknecht believes the field could be ready for play by April 1, depending on weather.
A special public meeting has been scheduled at 9 a.m. on Dec. 20 to accept and approve the bid.
Though technically two separate projects, costs to transform the overall high school athletic complex have grown substantially from the initial $3.5 million bid awarded to contractor Turco Golf. The finding of unsuitable soil at the multi-purpose field during the summer delayed work, led to large change orders in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and prompted officials to set aside the $800,000.
Soil, however, is being "recycled" to keep costs down.
"That big pile of soil out on the field right now – that's all clean soil," McNabola said Wednesday. "Instead of paying them to cart it away, we're going to use it to level the outfield. That saves...about $200,000. Plus, the outfield will be leveled better. The gist of the whole project is it's....not going to have the holes and divits and it will be less sloped."
Board members in June were worried dipping into the capital outlay fund could jeopardize future work on facilities.
McNabola does not foresee an issue going forward.
"It's not going to jeopardize other projects," the board president maintained.
What do you think? Having basically reached its overall budget, should the district be spending an extra $300,000 to make improvements to the baseball field? With money depleted, should it be tough luck to the ball players? Add your comment below.