Williamsville School Board approves field turf

Posted at 11:34 PM, Jan 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-13 07:04:42-05

A $26 million project to upgrade the facilities at Williamsville North, South and East High Schools was approved last year but because of issues raised by families and residents, there was a growing fear Tuesday night that the project would be delayed.

It was standing room only at Williamsville North, with taxpayers expressing concern the current facilities at the three high schools are antiquated and behind the upgrades of schools throughout Western New York.

Concerns were again raised about using rubber as the "infill" and the effect it could have on athletes' health, specifically the fear of cancer causing chemicals, with those urging the board to find an alternate substance. The other concern is about lights shining on the fields surrounding residents.

With a 5-2 vote, the Williamsville School Board approved EPDM, a rubber substance, that will be used as "infill" to create the new turf.

"We're one of the last adopters of the turf. Everybody is using it. It's safe, it's better and it's good for our students," Dan Kelly said. "We cancel so many days from practices and games, not to mention we're practicing on fields that need to be improved."

Williamsville North will be the first school to receive the upgraded facilities. They're expected to break ground on the project in April.

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