Upper Freehold Regional board appropriates funds for turf field project

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The Upper Freehold Regional School District Board of Education has approved a $1 million withdrawal from the district’s capital reserve account with the intent of installing a synthetic turf playing field at the Allentown High School stadium.

On May 6, board members voted to approve a motion for the capital reserve withdrawal.

According to district administrators, the withdrawal will be covered by the district’s budget for the 2020-21 school year. Administrators intend to use the funds to replace the grass field at the Allentown High School stadium with a synthetic playing surface.

Discussions about replacing the grass field have been ongoing since February. During a meeting that month, board members acknowledged that the installation of a synthetic turf field was being considered for the high school and were seeking to have soil samples tested before potentially moving forward with the project.

On March 11, board members approved the submission of the project to the New Jersey Department of Education for review and approval as an “other” capital project with no state funding, consistent with the state approved 2020 long-range facilities plan.

The submission was made by the Spiezle Architectural Group, the board’s architect, which will design the project.

On April 22, board members authorized the solicitation of bids for a tax exempt lease-purchase financing plan to finance a portion of the synthetic turf field’s installation.

Phoenix Advisors and Wilentz, Goldman and Spitzer have been directed to solicit bids, on behalf of the board, to finance a portion of the project through a tax exempt lease-purchase plan in an amount not to exceed $400,000.

Board members approved the Spiezle Architectural Group to receive payment in an amount not to exceed $79,700 for providing phase 1 design, documentation, bidding support and construction administration, and closing costs for the project.

On May 6, the $1 million capital reserve withdrawal was the latest action taken by the board to advance the project.