By BarbaraOrmsby

The athletic complex at Ridley High School will undergo a $1,426,688  renovation project, according to action taken by the Ridley School Board at its April meeting.

School district Superintendent Lee Ann Wentzel said the work will not require new bonds or a tax increase. Work will not start until after the mid-June commencement exercises for the school’s Class of 2017, which takes place on the athletic field.

The costs and the contractors include: turf replacement of the athletic field,  $476,482, Jones Turf Management; track repair, resurface and restripe, $365,600, American Athletic Track and Turf;  tennis courts repair and resurface, $152,950, American Tennis Courts; and stadium lighting, $431,650, IY Construction LLC.

During a presentation of the project, it was explained that the athletic complex is a showcase for the community and used year-round by everyone. The school turf usage supports more than 100 athletic teams’ games a year, summer camps, marching band activities, physical education classes daily, and a myriad of school events.

The track is utilized for winter and spring track teams’ practices and meets, physical education classes and by the community “dawn to dusk” when school is not in session. Catholic Youth Organization teams also use the track.

The tennis courts are used by the school’s girls’ and boys’ tennis teams and by the Ridley Township Recreation Department camp. The surface was deemed unplayable with the presentation showing large cracks.

As for stadium lighting, the presentation notes it was installed in 1987 and is now out of warranty. There are failed bulbs and ballasts, reduced light in some areas, light spill into the neighborhood and high energy demand.

In another financial matter, the board approved the district’s share of the Delaware County Community College 2017-2018 budget amounting to $670,146. The total budget for the college is $8,238,793. School board President Michael Capozzoli, the Ridley district’s representative to the college, reviewed the budget and recommended the Ridley board give its approval.

Wentzel detailed for the board a proposal submitted by Daria Schneider, director of Food Services, to pursue a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture Fresh Fruit and Vegetable program that would provide free fresh fruit and vegetables to students  in three of the district’s elementary schools three days each week from October 2017 to June 2018.

The goal of the program is to create healthier school environments by providing healthier food choices. If awarded, the Leedom Elementary School would receive $10,000, Eddystone Elemenatry, $11,000, and Woodlyn Elementary, $18,000.

The board also approved the appointment of three school board members as voting delegates for the 2017 Pennsylvania School Board Association’s delegate assembly meeting in October. They are Beverly Kapanjie, school board vice president, and board members Harry McElwee and Adele Warner. 

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