Brewster Board of Ed OKs Track Improvements; Plans to Spend $87,000

Funds from a non-profit and a grant will go toward the project, too.

Six of the seven Brewster Board of Education trustees voted Tuesday in favor of moving forward with major improvements to the high school track.

"At this point in time we have serious concerns about the track," board President Dr. Stephen Jambor said. "...Unless it's addressed, the condition of this track will continue to deteriorate, and in fact, we'll be faced with an even bigger job."

The project will cost approximately $221,000, according to Joseph Charbonneau, vice president for the board. Thanks to a $100,000 grant secured by State Sen. Greg Ball, and roughly $35,000 from the Brewster Sports Foundation, the district's contribution will likely come in at roughly $86,000, or about 39 percent, he said.

"I recognize that we do everything in terms of budgetary impact, but we've got an opportunity here to supplement those other two sources of income and come out with a track that can be used not only by one of the most successful sports programs in the district but by gym classes, physical education endeavors," Charbonneau said, adding that he has "no reservations" about spending the money for a project that the "entire community will be able to utilize."

Here are a few thoughts from other trustees:


A. Gerald Schramek—"I usually don't like to vote on a project of this magnitude utilizing the fund balance. I'd much rather see something like this budgeted for. But when I looked over the documentation that was provided to us ... it mentions that field conditions impair the district's ability to carry out the track and field program and physical education instructional programs, and creates a heightened risk of injury for students. Also, being advised that the project may cost more in a few months because of the product, I will be voting in favor of this. But nevertheless, again, I do this with a heavy heart, because I don't like to take things that are not budgeted for and take it out of the fund balance for any kind of project. But this project clearly indicates to me that we're doing this for the right reasons, for the safety of our students, for the safety of the general public that also uses the track."


Alberta Kozma—"I stand in the minority very definitely here. I think that our track team has been wonderfully successful. I would like nothing more than to see a track where we could hold competitions. But, I really feel that in these economic times, with the cuts that we have been making in the past several years, and will continue to make, in instruction, to take almost $90,000 from the fund balance at this time to do this track, I cannot in good conscience vote for it."


S. Peter Pastore—"It's something that has to be done within the near future and I feel that with the money we got from Senator Ball and the Brewster Sports Foundation, this would be the best time for us to do it at the best value."

Thanks for reading! The following stories offer additional details:

  • School Board Looking to Rebid for Track Upgrade
Ann Fanizzi December 12, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Just to add - the reason for support of sports programs is that they offer financially strapped middle class parents, the opportunity for their children to obtain college scholarships. It is a vicious circle with the colleges perpetuating this so that they will in turn obtain funds from their alumni.
Ashley Tarr December 12, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Thanks for weighing in, everyone. I've updated the story with perspectives from other board members.
Jack Duncan December 13, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Ann; I cannot disagree with your position more. Sports and Athletics are an extension of our classrooms. They provide for the life lessons of physical-mental-emotional success and failure. Give the field opportunity for Leadership and the teach the ability to follow. And your proposal of the fallacy -that kids play sports to pay for college. This is the Reality Only 7.5 % of high school male athletes will compete at the college level. Only 7.9% of high school female athletes will compete at the college level. Since I can speak with more authority as a father of a high school and college wrestler Chances of competing in College Wrestling Number of High School Wrestlers 273,732 Number of College Wrestlers 8,970 % of high school Wrestlers competing in college 3.3% Maximum Wrestling Scholarships Available - per school NCAA I: 9.9 NCAA II: 9.0 NCAA III does not give athletic scholarships The “odds” of our high school athlete not only participating but having their education paid for by athletics is low. That is why -when one of our student athletes do get that “full ride” it’s a big deal.
Ann Fanizzi December 13, 2012 at 07:57 PM
As an educator, I could attach the list you mentioned to a whole host of school activities. Could you give me the citation for your data, Jack? Who do you term an 'athlete?" The lack of phys ed in schools has been well documented but am opposed to "cadillac" sports who forment competition between schools as to who has the better track, equipment etc? Enough has been critically written about the relationship of high school sports to college admission. Odds never stopped anyone from competing and trying. What are the odds of winning the lottery?
Jack Duncan December 14, 2012 at 12:19 AM
http://www.scholarshipstats.com/varsityodds.html Ann; At Brewster it's not about who has the "better" track, but the state of an un-acceptable track. The state of the facility was the concern. I take exception to your position on high school athletics But I side with you on the trend of reduced PE, it is short sighted. I believe that athletics & sports are part of the educational process.


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