Connie Mack field eyed as home for baseball team

Connie Mack field eyed as home for baseball team
Posted on 02/27/2022

Good afternoon!  As you can imagine, there is a lot of activity going on throughout the Quakertown Community School District.  No doubt you know a good bit about what is going on in your child(ren)’s school.  I would like to share some of what’s going on at the district level.

Last Thursday there were three Board level committee meetings - Policy, Facilities, and Finance. At the Policy Committee, the committee members continued their systematic review of all QCSD policies, and had further discussion on possible revisions to Policy 903.

The Facilities Committee talked once again about building a varsity baseball field.  When the high school was built in the 1950’s the baseball field, and years later the softball field, were built behind the school.  Since the high school was built on top of a swamp, often the fields would take days to dry out after a rain.  During the spring of 2014, during my first six months as superintendent, those fields were only usable for four days.  When the Facilities Committee took on this issue in 2015 it decided to transition the space used by the ballfields into the QNB Sports Complex because 10 different teams and the band could use the finite space compared to just the two ball teams.  The district entered into a 20-year agreement with Richland Area Softball Association (RASA) and Richland Township for use of the fields at Veterans Park for the softball team.  And the quest began for a suitable home for our varsity baseball team.

For most of the past eight years, the team has used Memorial Park Field.  Numerous issues arose with the field during late winter and early spring, and whenever there is serious rain and flooding downtown. Last year the bleachers at Memorial Park were deemed unsafe and only hometown crowd spectators were allowed to sit on the field along the third baseline.  Over the years, the Board’s Facilities Committee has thoroughly researched where to build a varsity baseball field - on one of the Connie Mack fields, assuming control of Memorial Park Field from Quakertown Borough and rebuilding it, and building a baseball complex on the district’s property on West Pumping Station Road. 

D'Huy Engineering, our construction management company that has worked with QCSD in the construction of Neidig Elementary School, assessed all of the options for the Board.  At the Facilities Committee Thursday night, the Committee decided to focus on building a varsity baseball field on a Connie Mack field, and work with Quakertown Borough for using Memorial Park Field as a junior varsity field in the long term.  The Memorial Park Field is a beautiful venue, but has serious floodplain issues, even after a major renovation.  With the Board's desire to keep the baseball program in Quakertown Borough - close to the high school, the West Pumping Station Road option was ruled out.  The Board is also exploring the possibility of selling the West Pumping Station Road property due to an offer made on it recently.

The Finance Committee received its initial look at the Preliminary Budget for next fiscal year from our new Business Administrator, Dawn Young.  Later, during the Board meeting, I provided a short summary of the Budget during the Superintendent’s Report.  This year’s budget is $119 million.  On the first look at the budget for next year, it has grown to $126 million.  A major part of the growth in the budget comes from obligations and commitments made during last year’s budget discussions.  This includes using $4.5 million from the QCSD reserve to balance the budget this year, completing the implementation of universal full-day kindergarten next year across ALL elementary schools, adding $420,000 into the support staff QESPA Agreement, and other contractual obligations.

At the Thursday night School Board meeting the Board also approved next year's school calendar.  The Board is grateful for all of the feedback it received prior to its decision.  

Thank you for reading and we look forward to your continued input and feedback.

Bill Harner

Superintendent

[email protected]

@Bill Harner


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