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Butler Field, Auditorium Renovations on Hold

Superintendent said the district is not comfortable asking voters to support projects during poor economic time.

Two Butler Public Schools capital projects are on hold for now after Superintendent Mario Cardinale said the district does not want to ask the public to support them in the current economic climate.

"It's just not a time to go and ask people to support a referendum," he said.

The first involves the reorientation of the Smith Field and inclusion of the property of the former Decker House. The house that sat on the property was razed in May as the school district and borough's Citizens' Advisory Committee, made up of school board members, principals, school supervisors and community members, continued to discuss and consider new uses for the property.

Ideas that were considered, in addition to reorienting the field, were constructing a community playground or possibly creating a basketball court in the area near the lower level student parking lot behind the high school.

Cardinale said the committee has discussed interest in reorienting the field to potentially provide space for more than one activity to be held there at the same time. There has been consideration of soccer space, possibly another baseball diamond and more. 

But Cardinale said the amount of money it would take, while an exact dollar amount was not available, would warrant a referendum and the district is not prepared to ask voters to approve one at this time. The second project on hold includes renovating the high school auditorium, which Cardinale said would cost a projected $1.2 million. 

Even though the district is not able to spend money on the projects now, Cardinale said the committee and district will continue to plan for them so that when funding is available, the district will be able to move forward.

"When it is economically feasible, we have to be quick with a plan," he said.

Richard Dean October 23, 2012 at 11:03 AM
While I would love to see these projects carried out, I do believe that Supt Mario Cardinale is making a good judgement as this hard economy with overtaxed residents is not the right time. I would love to see the Butler HS auditorium restored to a really nice one the way it was before it was ruined in 1978. Prior to that it had theatre style seats which were replaced by hard plastic airport type seating in order to create 4 additional classrooms for a growing student body. Those days are now gone as the baby boomer generation is growing older.
Richard Dean October 23, 2012 at 11:05 AM
I forgot to mention that when the 1978 project happened the seating capactiy of the aud was cut way down.

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