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MARTIN ROAD SPORTS FIELDS PROJECT TO MOVE FORWARD

Despite two lawsuits, Jamestown school officials said they plan to move ahead with the Martin Road sports fields project.

Superintendent Raymond Fashano is moving to forward the plans to the state Education Department to obtain funding.

Fashano made his comments during a public information meeting Thursday night attended by more than 100 people in Jefferson Middle School.

The 60-acre Martin Road site would feature two baseball fields, two softball fields, four soccer fields and a lighted soccer stadium, as well as a science arboretum as a buffer along the roadway.

Because of the lawsuit, Fashano offered no official starting date for the project, but said the School Board hopes to get the project going by next spring.

Two concerns were raised during the meeting:

Parking, which was termed adequate by architect Rod Drake of Habiterra Associates.

"We're talking mainly practice fields, and the varsity soccer field. I drove by two soccer games going on today over at Allen Park, and there were probably a hundred cars over there for two soccer games. So, we feel that 148 is adequate. The baseball and soccer are two different seasons, so you wouldn't have a lot of soccer and baseball going on at the same time," Drake said.

Lighting -- an issue raised by South Hill Drive residents.

Jamestown Area Youth Soccer spokesman William Daly said lights would be in the best interest of the children playing on the fields.

"The lights on that field will only be used three or four times a year in October or November because we play schools that are 75 miles away," Daly said. "Their buses break down, they get here late. I don't want to have any kids injured because some people don't want lights on that field."

The proposal is part of the district's $54 million capital-improvement plan, and the other projects that are part of it are under way.

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