The Mahwah High School campus will see the addition of a 26,000 square foot indoor athletic complex as the district Board of Ed voted Wednesday night to move forward on the proposed project.
The board approved a resolution Wednesday night allowing the district to negotiate a contract with Tokarski Millemann Architects for the planning and development of the facility.
Eight of the board’s nine members voted in favor of the project. Board member Suzanne Curry abstained.
“I appreciate all of the work the facilities committee has put into this, but I feel that I don’t have enough information about our [future] facilities needs as they relate to our educational goals,” Curry said before abstaining from the vote.
“I’m not saying that there’s not a need for this,” she said. But, Curry said that ultimately she did not have enough information about whether or not other educational infrastructure projects would be needed or wanted in the district, and so abstained.
“After many hours of discussion by the Facilities Committee and three months of consideration by the entire Board of Education, the board is ready to move forward on the construction of an indoor athletic facility on the Mahwah High School campus,” Superintendent Lauren Schoen said in a statement.
“The Board is authorizing the administration to work with the school district’s architect in order to initiate the planning, design work, and governmental submissions which must be completed prior to going out to bid about June, 2014.”
Board members said the specific design of the building is not yet set in stone, and will be tweaked by the architect moving forward.
“Everything is flexible at this point,” Board Member and Facilities Committee Chair Peter Wendrychowicz said at the meeting.
Generally, the board has said the complex will be two stories, built near the football field, and include dividable turf fields, five lanes of track, coaches meeting rooms, public restrooms and a new concession stand.
Board members have estimated the cost of the project to be about $3.8 million, to be paid for from the district's capital reserve account.
Several residents at the meeting Wednesday night questioned the board on the decision.
“I think we could spend the money in better and other ways,” Ted Slockbower told the board. He suggested the board instead spend the money on iPads and other technology upgrades instead.