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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Tags: board of education, stadium, ticket booth, Unionville High School, unionville-chadds ford

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20 Comments on "UCF Board opts to build new stadium entrance"


Guest
Dr. B. W. Langer
2 years 4 months ago

One has to look at Board actions over the years – not only at the present one. Its a thankless job but more thought should be put into getting the maximum benefit for the minimum cost.

We got a football team because of “boosters” who have passed on their zeal and the costs to the taxpayers. Why can’t they build the new booth and let the $85K go to education.


Guest
Parent and taxpayer
2 years 4 months ago

It takes one accident to deplete any savings that ucfsd has. It is rare for Mr. knauss to agree on an expendexture such as this and even more rare for many to agree with him. I agree with keeping our children safe


Guest
Kristin Hoover
2 years 4 months ago

This is a bogus issue ginned up to push the want and desire to a need that people won’t see through. People will always be walking through parking lots and there are always crowds. Perhaps we could dispense the tickets online and save the cost of the ticket booth which is really a pretty old fashion concept anyway. I once bought an entire house for 7K more than the ticket booth is going to cost. Dr. Manzone is as concerned as anybody about the safety and welfare of students as a Board Member and parent of a child in the District. If she thought that this were a waste of money and dared to go against the Board and Administration with a “no” vote, then I trust her judgment.


Guest
Dr. B. W. Langer
2 years 4 months ago

I think that the WHOLE board should be replaced. We have an extensively renovated -new- high school at the tune of $63 million plus even though it was rejected twice by the voters – The Board found a loophole that allowed them to go ahead. They save about $85K, then vote to spend $35K on a ticket shack and gate. I wonder if they realize that educational expenses come first!!!!


Guest
Kristin Hoover
2 years 4 months ago

Doesn’t it make you wonder why with our auditorium and huge new gym, that we need to have our graduation at the Bob Carpenter Center? Isn’t it interesting that after 63 million and years of interest payments, are facilities are never adequate!


Guest
concerned_in_ucfsd
2 years 4 months ago

+1


Guest
Keith Knauss
2 years 4 months ago

I know all school board directors look alike, act alike and make poor decisions [smile], but I’d like to mention that none of the 7 directors that voted for the stadium entrance were on the board when the $63M high school project was approved. In fact, none of the current 9 directors were around for the HS vote. When I see my friend Dr. Langer next week I’m going to encourage him to place his name on the primary ballot next spring so we can get things right.


Guest
concerned_in_ucfsd
2 years 4 months ago

AGREE!!!


Guest
concerned_in_ucfsd
2 years 4 months ago

Are you kidding me???


The 7 yes votes should step down from the Board!!


Guest
Kristin Hoover
2 years 4 months ago

I supported Mr. Yelton’s remarks at the meeting that this money should not be spent. It is a mystery to me why Keith Knauss and Jeff Hellrung supported this ridiculous waste of money….which is only a first step in a long process of planned improvements…when they were so vocal in their “Efficient Education” days about the overbuilt school renovation. In a District where sports are king and there is enormous pressure to conform, Dr. Manzone did a bold thing when she sided with the taxpayers, students and parents who care about cuts in important educational programs. I’m betting that we will spend all this money and then not have a dime for teachers or bus drivers (largely out of our anti-union sentiment). We cannot expect teachers to go forever without an increase. Interesting how UCFSD seems to ALWAYS have the money for the things they want regardless of the needs or wants of the students or the votes of the parents and community at-large. If the Administration and/or Board want it, then we need it. They send the bill to us.


Guest
Observing
2 years 4 months ago

“We cannot expect the teachers to go on forever without an increase.”


Actually, the teachers got an increase in their last contract.


Guest
Kristin Hoover
2 years 4 months ago

I also got interest on my CD at the bank. My money is worth less than it was and I have to wait to redeem the CD. So, in the end, did I really get an increase on my money?


Guest
Observing
2 years 4 months ago

If you had invested in elsewhere perhaps it would have went up or it would have went down. What does retun on investment versus inflation have to do with compensation levels? Furthermore, since the structure of the salary matrix was unchanged (although the neutral mediator said is should be changed to slow the rate of advancement which would have favored the district taxpayers), and since the matrix itself was increased in amount, every teacher got increase for greater experience and/or for increases in education.


Guest
Kristin Hoover
2 years 4 months ago

I was speaking figuratively. My point is that the teachers didn’t get much after a long fight. Their buying power was reduced and it was an ugly process. How can the school district continue to make an argument that there is no money when we spend 20K so the children won’t have to plot their own progress on the fitness equipment, when we have money for regal ticket booths and when we buy large parcels of land for sports fields and sunflowers?


 
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