Palmyra-Macedon Central School District held a facilities planning discussion regarding the future of district athletic facilities on Tuesday, May 21 at Palmyra-Macedon Intermediate School. Palmyra-Macedon Board of Education (BOE) members and district leaders were joined by a large group of community members along with representatives from the district’s architect (King + King Architects), construction manager (Watchdog Building Partners) and fiscal advisor (Municipal Solutions, Inc.) at the event.
The meeting signified the first step of many toward a final goal of devising a plan to enhance district athletic facilities to better serve students and the Pal-Mac community at-large. The planning process is a continuation of work by facilities improvement committees from 2013-15. The process will allow Pal-Mac to examine ways to improve athletic facilities to allow greater facility access during inclement weather, particularly during the spring season. Discussion and planning at the meeting centered on the possibility of constructing a multi-purpose turf athletic field or a multi-purpose indoor turf athletic facility. In conjunction with the Giordano family and friends, the district is also exploring ways in which those interested in honoring David Giordano, longtime Pal-Mac coach and community leader, may be able to support the district’s plans.
In total, eight conceptual designs of varying scope and cost were presented by representatives from King + King Architects, Municipal Solutions, Inc. and Watchdog Building Partners. Four initial designs focus on ways to integrate a multi-purpose turf playing field to be used for soccer and lacrosse along with baseball and softball. One plan also shown utilizes hybrid turf baseball and softball fields with turf in the infield only and grass in the outfield, and another focuses on constructing a multi-purpose turf field targeted for use by soccer and lacrosse with the addition of a new grass softball field. Two conceptual ideas to build a standalone indoor turf facility were presented as well. In all conceptual scenarios, the use of turf fields would not only allow use during inclement weather but also require less maintenance than typical grass playing surfaces and/or dirt infields (baseball and softball).
New York State Building Aid is available to finance most of the cost for six of the concepts (excluding indoor facilities). To finance the remaining portion of potential projects, several funding options are available including use of the fund balance, fundraising and donations, reserve funds and tax levy increases. Financing of the work will be based on estimated project costs, NYS Building Aid and input from the community. The aforementioned factors will be crucial to the BOE as it makes its decision on overall project direction.
Several community members in attendance including Brian and Nate Giordano, sons of David Giordano, and Chris Corey, representing Pal-Mac Youth baseball, expressed their desire to work in partnership with the school district to ensure a successful facilities plan for the entire Pal-Mac community. Corey discussed the positive relationship between the district and local youth sports organizations, adding Pal-Mac youth baseball is prepared to assist with fundraising efforts to be used to help fund the construction of updated athletic facilities.
Each option presented at the meeting was strictly conceptual in nature and no specific decisions have been made by the Pal-Mac BOE. Scope of projects and specific cost estimates are to be determined. Additional options outside of what was presented at the meeting may be considered based upon further exploration.
Over the next several months, the planning process and community input process will continue. In the early fall, the district plans to gather community feedback on facilities via its new software tool ThoughtExhcange. The tool will allow the district to ask open-ended questions of the community to gather anonymous feedback and spur discussion.
Based on information received from experts and feedback from community members, a final plan will then be formulated in cooperation with the Pal-Mac BOE. The plan will need to be approved by the BOE and put up for vote to be decided by Pal-Mac residents. A tentative timeline for this process includes the BOE reaching a decision in mid-2020 with a proposal to go in front of voters in late 2020.
“We are in the early stages of the planning process as we seek to evaluate options for the future of our athletic facilities,” said Pal-Mac Superintendent Dr. Bob Ike. “The initial meeting afforded us the opportunity to receive valuable community feedback and begin the cultivation of a collaborative plan which fits not only the needs of the district but the entire Pal-Mac community.”
Should you have any questions or be interested in providing feedback, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. For updates including future facilities discussion dates, please monitor the Pal-Mac website, www.palmaccsd.org.