UCF Board opts to build new stadium entrance

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$35,000 project questioned in light of current financial environment

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times

The approximate location of the planned new entrance/ticket booth for the Unionville High School football stadium. Inset: the current entrance and ticket booth.

EAST MARLBOROUGH — A new ticket booth and entrance, which may be potentially funded by donors, will greet visitors to Unionville High School’s football stadium, as soon as the 2013 season. But not everyone agrees that the $35,000 expenditure is the best use of district funds.

The Unionville-Chadds Ford Board of Education voted 7-1, Tuesday night, to approve the new booth and entrance way, closer to the school building and the new gymnasium just now being completed at the high school. While those supporting the decision to build a new entrance cited the poor position of the current entrance, which empties into the middle of the adjacent parking lot, those in opposition suggested that it was an unneeded expansion in the current fiscal environment.

“I think is a ‘want,’ not a ‘need,’ “ said board member Holly Manzone, who voted against the proposal.

Board president Eileen Bushelow, who did vote for it, said she didn’t think that it was something the district should ultimately pay for, but that plans to use naming rights to pay for it were enough to get her support.

But residents, at least those very few at the meeting, expressed concerns that the ticket booth would not be paid for by outside groups, and that at the end of the day, district taxpayers would have to foot the bill.

“The ticket booth for the stadium was considered by a previous board during the stadium renovation project and rejected,” said Bruce Yelton of Pocopson. “This has no positive impact on education.”

He also argued that the promises of future payment for the ticket booth have to be questioned in light of previous history. Yelton claimed that the Unionville Sports Council has paid only $300,000 so far toward a promised $1 million to pay for the field renovations.

The motion to fund the $35,000 ticket booth and new stadium entrance passed by a 7-1 vote, with only Manzone voting no and board member Jeff Leiser not in attendance at the meeting.

In other news, the board formally adopted a new worksession/committee meeting schedule, starting in October. The committee meeting are being merged — except for personnel, which is not open to the public — into one evening, either immediately before the worksession, or as part of the worksession. Officials and board members say this should make it easier for more people to attend the meetings and participate.

The second Monday of the month, starting Oct. 15 schedule will look like this:

• 7-8 am: Personnel (not open to the public)

• 5-6:30 p.m.:  Curriculum and Educational Technology.

• 6:30-9:30 p.m.: Work Session, Communications, Finance, Facilities and Policy Committee work will be done during the work session. The temporary Revenue Enhancement Committee has been folded back into the Finance Committee.

All meetings will be held in the Administration Office main conference room.

Regular board meetings will continue to be on the third Monday, rotating around to various schools, starting at 7:30 p.m.

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