CASD Discusses Public Availability of Tennis and Track Facilities
The board agreed to temporarily leave the tennis courts open from dawn until dusk, or 9 p.m., on weekdays so long as they’re not being used by students or the tennis team. They agreed to make them available from 7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. over the weekends.
Superintendent Dr. Thomas B. Otto said the high school’s tennis courts are currently “playable” and had been used by students for the first time Monday. He said the tennis team was scheduled to play its first home game Tuesday.
Last month, he reported that the upgraded athletic complex was almost completed and asked the board to revisit and consider updates to its policies for their public usage.
Otto said he would like to keep the tennis courts open for the public; however, he noted they were a “high investment” for the district. At the same time, he felt they should give the public the benefit of the doubt until there was an incident.
Board member Tim Morgan said that when considering these athletic complex improvements, they wanted to move forward with them because the public would benefit from them as well. He said they’d have to monitor the facilities to make sure they weren’t being misused or damaged.
Board President Dave Glass suggested using a wide angle camera to monitor the nearby parking lot and tennis facilities. Interim Principal Tim Janocko said that it’s difficult to identify individuals in the video and it’s usually after an incident has occurred. He said school officials must be able to identify an individual for the Lawrence Township police to proceed further with an investigation.
Janocko said they haven’t experienced any vandalism to the tennis courts in recent years and he believed they should be left open but locked overnight. He said it would be up to the board and administration to determine the public availability of the tennis courts over the weekends.
Rick Bunning, director of buildings and grounds, said a camera has been placed with the construction going on at the high school campus. He wasn’t sure how clearly it would depict individuals if they would go back and review the video.
Bunning said they’ll be placing signs that outline the rules for using the tennis courts. He said as soon as the district makes its final determination they’ll be posting signs regarding the timeframes for public availability of the tennis courts.
Bunning noted on the weekends, the last custodian leaves at 3:30 p.m. He said custodial staff is at the high school from 7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. both Saturdays and Sundays. He said if the district would decide to leave the facilities open any later, they would have to schedule someone to lock the facilities.
Board member Larry Putt said it was “simple” and the district should close the tennis facilities at 3:30 p.m. on the weekends. At that point, board member Mary Anne Jackson inquired about the locking mechanism that would be used to which Bunning indicated that they would be padlocked.
Bunning said the Washington Avenue gate is closed every night at 9 p.m. unless construction is occurring at the high school after that. He said contractors are currently working two shifts at the high school.
Otto said the district is still determining the exact details of the policy for the public usage of track facilities. Field Turf artificial grass has been installed in the football stadium, in addition to the improvements to the track and field areas.
Otto said that other school districts, such as Bald Eagle Area and Altoona, permitted the public to use its track and field areas, and they experienced vandalism issues to their football fields.