North Allegheny board contemplating major improvements to intermediate high school fields
The North Allegheny school board on Wednesday is expected to select from a menu of proposed improvements for the fields at the intermediate high school that include options to resurface them with artificial turf and add lighting.
To remain competitive with other districts of similar size, district officials say, what NA needs most are more fields with lights to extend the time of day they can be used; and artificial turf that, unlike grass, doesn’t turn into a mud bog when it rains.
But just how much the district is willing to spend to improve the fields is a decision with which the board must grapple.
At the board’s Feb. 20 agenda setting meeting, Director of Facilities Rob Geartener provided school directors with a series of options to improve the fields.
The lowest-priced option at a little more than $2.1 million would replace the existing oval field with an oval, multi-sport lighted field covered in artificial turf on which field hockey, football, lacrosse and soccer can be played.
At the high end is a more than $8.1 million proposal to add the oval multi-sport field as well as a second multi-sport field that also is configured for baseball and softball. Both fields would be covered in artificial turf and have lighting.
Slightly lower at about $6.66 million is a proposal to only install the combination baseball/multi-sport field with lighting and artificial turf.
Another option would create a turf-covered multi-use field with baseball/softball diamonds that includes lighting for
all the fields at a price of about $7.4 million.
Other improvements the board is considering include:
• Using a special cement formulation to stabilize the subsurface of the site.
• Installing netting along the third base line of the baseball field to improve safety.
• Installation of additional lighting in the parking lots and to improve visibility and safety.
• Putting in electrical conduits for a future scoreboard.
• Installing electric power in the dugouts.
• Adding a 30-foot-by-40-foot storage shed.
• Reducing the size of the dugouts to remove the areas currently used for storage.
Several board members said they were inclined to shy away from the plans carrying a price tag of $6 million or more, but they would support spending on the lower cost improvements.
Other board members said keeping the district competitive — including in the function, quality and attractiveness of its sports fields and other buildings — help make NA a desirable destination that in turn increases property values.
The board is scheduled to vote on the project at its meeting at 7 p.m. Feb. 27.
Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tony at 724-772-6368, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .