In Irvington —
Having reviewed over 800 pages of documents related to the Upper Dows Lane Field, I’m writing to brief the community:
• 2008-2009 budget includes $212,000 to replace the retaining wall at Upper Dows Lane Field.
• May 4, 2010: Girls’ lacrosse officials tell the District that starting in spring 2011 games can no longer be held at Upper Dows Lane Field because it’s not regulation size. Administrators then consider a way to enlarge the field when the retaining wall is re-built.
• May 4, 2010: Minutes for the School Board meeting show one Board member stating that the field is not large enough for lacrosse and asking that “ideas . . . be brought to the Board of Education to rectify it.”
• May 6, 2010: Administrators meet with the architect and again discuss enlarging the field, informing the Board on May 10th.
• Sept. 27, 2010: Architectural drawings specify enlargement of the field but draw it too short.
• Early November 2010: Work scheduled to begin.
• Nov. 3, 2010: Athletic director discovers that the field as drawn is 30 feet short.
• Nov. 12, 2010: Architect emails Jim Reese that, due to space constraints, a regulation lacrosse field cannot be constructed, an issue that was discussed with the District prior to bid. Due to safety concerns, architect asks for waivers of liability from the district and from the district’s insurer.
• Nov. 16, 2010: Architect emails that a regulation-size lacrosse field can be created, but the site will have to be fully re-graded, a Stormwater Plan submitted, and use of the field delayed until Fall 2011.
• Nov. 22, 2010: Jim Reese emails the Board that no one in the District verified the dimensions of the field in the architect’s drawings.
• Nov. 23, 2010: Jim Reese seeks Board approval to spend an extra $50,000 to expand the field. Two board members say no.
• Nov. 24, 2010: Contractor writes letter threatening to demobilize on Nov. 26th. After other Board members are polled, Jim Reese is told to move forward.
• Jan. 25, 2011: The Board ratifies the change order, 3-2. Superintendent Kathleen Matusiak tells the Board she has not been aware that construction has been ongoing. ©