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Sasso Field Bleacher Repairs Should Be Finished by Fall

Other district capital improvement projects planned for this summer include the replacement of the Edison School boiler and the high school band room's roof.

The awarded bids on four major capital improvement projects Thursday at a total cost of just under $500,000.

More than half of that half-million will go toward the third and final phase of bleacher repair at Sasso Field, the 's football field.

"This will complete the replacement of all sections of the bleachers on the home side," board member John Mancinelli said. "We have not come up with a plan to dispose of, or do anything with, the visitors side."

The bleachers, deemed unsafe, were scheduled for a full replacement five years ago, but financial constraints have forced the district to fix them in phases. Portions of the bleachers still awaiting repair are roped off from spectators.

Roselle Park-based Landsite Construction -- which performed the first two phases of the bleacher repair -- will perform the final replacement phase for $256,900. The board expects the the project to be completed by fall.

"If you ever wanted to see why we’re doing what we’re doing, come to a high school graduation. The bleachers are filled," said superintendent Bruce Watson, who noted that a child fell through the upper tier of the bleachers to the ground at last year's graduation. "It’s clearly a safety issue, it’s a code issue we have to keep them up, too. Either we’re going to repair them or we’re going to be ripping them down and we’re going to have nothing."

The child who fell through the bleachers was not seriously injured, Watson said.

In addition to the home side bleachers, other improvement projects include the replacement of 's 50-year-old boiler for $148,400, the partial replacement of the high school band room's leaky roof for $38,340 and the repair of the HVAC system at the high school for $49,400.

All of the projects are in the district's five-year capital improvement plan and were included in this year's budget, business administrator Joanne Wilson said. Their collective cost is within budget.

"You do your best each year to try and bring in whatever you can from the plan because everything has a life expectancy," she said.

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