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Stadium Project Back on the Table for CB East

The Central Bucks School District may move ahead with a project to build a sports stadium at its high school in Buckingham.

CB East may get a sports stadium after all.

After years of court cases and debate, the Central Bucks School District on Tuesday will once again take up the idea of building a stadium at the high school in Buckingham.

The school board is set to discuss the project at its meeting at 7:30 p.m.

District officials have recommended holding a town hall meeting, and have suggested a date of Tuesday, March 19, at 7 p.m. at the Lenape Middle School auditorium.

"We are thinking a public hearing town hall meeting would be appropriate to bring this issue to the community," says the memo attached to Tuesday's school board agenda.

The stadium project was added to the district's long-range capital improvement plan last year. 

A design team estimated the project's current costs at about $5.6 million. As outlined, the project would include:

  • Demolition of existing areas
  • 8-lane running track and field event areas
  • Synthetic turf field (would require township approval)
  • 3,000 seat grandstands
  • Concession building, press box, and two ticket booths
  • Site improvements such as fencing, retaining walls and paving
  • No lights or sound system are allowed by current zoning, but infrastructure would be installed "for future consideration"
  • Costs such as design fees, permits and legal fees

The district set aside $2.5 million from a bond issue in 1997 for the stadium. In addition, the ongoing renovation project at the high school came in about $7 million under budget, because of a favorable construction climate due to the recession, school officials said.

"Those favorable bid results, combined with the $2.5 million originally set aside for the project will cover the projected cost of the new CB East stadium," according to the summary from the district.

First proposed in the 1990s, the stadium has faced one obstacle after another, mostly in the form of challenges from neighbors.

In 1999, the district submitted plans for the stadium to Buckingham Township officials. After extensive review and debate, township supervisors approved a land development plan in December 2002.

But in 2003, neighbors Jeff and Mary Bretz filed a lawsuit over the project, launching what Bucks County Judge Clyde Waite would call in 2011 a "serpentine" course of legal challenges that had the case bouncing back and forth for years.

After Waite's decision in favor of the township and the school board, the Bretzes appealed to Commonwealth Court. But in 2012, that court upheld the decision from county court, finally clearing the way for the stadium project to move forward.

 

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CB East Stadium Supporters Celebrate

Sue Gav February 17, 2013 at 02:43 AM
BUILD THE STADIUM ALREADY...YES, SCHOOL IS ABOUT ACADEMICS, BUT A LOT OF TEAMS WILL USE THE STADIUM AND IT WILL GENERATE SOME INCOME TO BOOT...HAVE WE AS A SOCIETY FORGOTTEN HOW TO HAVE A LITTLE BIT OF OLD FASHIONED FUN ON A SUNNY AFTERNOON OR EVENING IN THE SPRING OR FALL? OH, AND SHALL WE REMIND RESIDENTS THAT IT WILL BE A BEAUTIFUL PLACE FOR CB EAST GRADATIONS FOR THE MANY YEARS TO COME? COME ON BUCKINGHAM RESIDENTS - COME OUT TO THE SCHOOL BOARD MEETING AND HAVE OUR VOICES HEARD!
Barry Schwartz February 17, 2013 at 07:21 PM
Thanks for doing the math for us, Jane. The district already has the buses, might as well use them. Do we really need to spend $6 MM for another stadium to play, what, 12 games a year?
Mark Orpen February 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM
With all the cuts the school board has made recently now is NOT the time to be considering spending on a stadium. What message is the school board sending to our children, our community if they put a stadium ahead of education? Come on. Let's be real folks.
Bob February 19, 2013 at 11:46 AM
Does the plan include ongoing maintenance costs? There is a lot of clean up effort before and after games, and the heavy costs of maintaining the field and track well enough for multiple sports to use throughout the year. If 3 million were to be raised for the stadium, what else could 3 million be used for instead? Or what could the 2m be used for without raising another 3m? What are our other current deficits and needs for the school to actually make a decision? If everything is going great, teachers and kids are happy, then perhaps this is a good project to progress. But i would imagine there are more pressing issues that money can be used for.
Jim March 20, 2013 at 10:12 PM
I find it funny that a lot of the comments seem to limit the use of a stadium to football. As one of the above comments above indicated football is only one of the uses. Athletic teams from both the high school and middle school will use the facility along the band, cheerleading squads and several club activities. Safety for all of the students in case of emergencies is also a factor. A stadium is more than just a place for football. It is a place for the community to gather and support the school and local activities. My last comment concerns the comments that appear to lessen the importance of athletics. Athletics is means for young people to learn to communicate, socialize, lead and develop their personal skills. It helps develop well rounded individuals, rather than just people that can text message. Activities that will take place here will help the students possibly achieve the goals. Many of these students will use the skills developed here to gain scholarships, entrance into college and gain valuable friends that will help find jobs later in life.

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