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New Hope-Solebury school board weighs sports field and track renovation

The New Hope-Solebury Board of School Directors on Thursday night will consider developing a plan to renovate the district’s athletic field and track at an estimated cost of $1.7 million.

“The track needs to be resurfaced, and we’ve been talking about a turf field,” explained Dr. Charles Lentz, Superintendent of Schools. “Do we do both at same time?”

The athletic field is currently comprised of natural grass, and Lentz said that artificial turf holds up better in adverse conditions, like rain. Artificial turf is made up of synthetic fibers that stand up to heavy use, and need no irrigation or trimming.

He also said the track is in need of an update.

“The surface of the track is cracking and damaged,” said Lentz. “It’s still usable, but the longer you go and not resurface, the subsurface becomes damaged. It’s something we want to deal with proactively.”

The school board at its regular meeting Thursday night will consider approving the development of a plan by athletic field and facility designers ELA Sports. Resurfacing the track is estimated to cost $200,000, and the price tag for a new synthetic field is $1.5 million.

Renovation of the tennis courts at the school complex is still underway at a cost of $500,000.

Some have expressed concern about the potential tax impact of additional sports-related expenditures, including New Hope Borough Council. But Lentz said the sports field and track should be priorities.

“There’s a number of projects we have to look at, and something needs to be done to the field,” he said. “Whether it’s turf or resurfacing, in any campus there are projects that need to get done, and this one of them.”

The New Hope-Solebury Board of School Directors will meet Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. in the Upper Elementary School LGI Room.

About the author

Charlie Sahner

“Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy." - Einstein


  • A question of logistics. Let’s say that there was an artificial turf field in place as of today. Go to the district, click on Athletics and then Schedules. You will see four sports competing for field space at the same time. The boys JV Soccer team plays at 5:30 PM followed by the Varsity at 7 PM. So what happens to the Girl’s Varsity and JV field hockey teams plus the Varsity and JV football teams when it comes to practice?While one of the sports can conceivably practice between 3 PM and 5 PM, what happens to the other two sports? They would have to practice on natural fields which are reported to be dangerous or not practice at all OR wait until 8 PM OR wait until Saturday OR practice at 6 AM OR, OR, OR build a second artificial field.
    Finally, just so you know. I brought up at a facilities meeting the suggestion that our insurance carrier come down FIRST to assess the conditions of all the fields. NO RESPONSE.
    I emailed Supt.Lentz suggesting the same. His response? Thank you for the suggestion. And finally, when I suggested the same for our tennis courts, a lot of push back from the Facilities Chairman of the administration. Are they afraid that the insurance agent would say the fields are not that bad?
    Oh and by the way, are you aware that of the 32 football teams in the National football League, 18 of them play their games on Natural turf where the players who make millions for teams worth billions feel that natural turf is the way to go in terms of safety. Go Figure.

  • First, I am not against the renovation of the track or the possibility of having a turf field. However, when Supt Lentz says that the sports field and track should be priorities,I have to ask this question of him. Priorities over what? Priorities over new roofs and a HVAC ( heating, ventilation and A/C systemSystems for which the district hasn’t even begun having engineering studies for? So will the Supt. Lentz kindly answer the question as to where his priorities are.
    By the way, it is interesting to note that just this morning the district was informed that mold was discovered in the new Fitness Center, but thus far the community was not told how it happened. I know of two ways- A LEAKY ROOF and/ or FAILURE to obey the rules of simple hygiene. To be continued.

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