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ATHLETICS FACILITIES CONCERN CLUB

The president of the Amherst Tiger Booster Club says members are concerned about the state of athletics facilities in the Amherst Central School District and want to know how they can help.

During Tuesday's meeting of the School Board, administrators were quick to take the boosters up on their offer. School Superintendent Dennis D. Ford asked club President John Gammell to get some interested parents together and generate a list of priorities.

"Maybe we can marry the list with our priorities," said Ford, who asked the group to meet with Athletics Director Nancy Riccio and prepare a formal presentation for the board, possibly before the end of the summer.

Gammell said that the high school pool needs serious work and that the recently completed track should be fenced, as well as equipped with lights for use at night.

"If the golden goose was laying an egg for us, the first thing we would build would be a pool," Ford said, acknowledging that the facility is below standard. The pool is too small for swim meets, which are currently held at the middle school.

But Ford noted that building a new pool is an expensive proposition because it likely could not be done within the current building. Such a facility might require an extension of the building or a separate structure.

Regarding the track requests, officials said the area will be fenced, but there have been only informal discussions about lights. Before board members could get serious about lighting the area, they would have to survey nearby neighbors, Ford said.

Gammell asked whether there is an overall facilities plan, and the superintendent said that the district continually engages in five-year plans but that they are often revised. In about four years, the district will be retiring an $11 million rehabilitation bond. Trustees could consider a new bond proposition then.

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