School board views early stadium plans

A bond issue would fund the project.
NORTH JACKSON -- School board members got an idea of what a finished stadium complex that would be built near a proposed $13.5 million middle school-high school might look like.
At a special Jackson-Milton Board of Education meeting Tuesday, school officials heard a presentation detailing components of the project. A schematic outlining what the stadium might look like when completed also was shown.
Syed Abbas, president of Architectural Vision Group Ltd., Cleveland, stressed that the drawing is a preliminary depiction of the stadium plan, which could be fine-tuned in the next few weeks. Construction would take place on more than 100 acres the district owns between Mahoning Avenue and Interstate 76.
The board hired AVG to oversee the design phases for the new school, which many area residents have said they want to replace the 93-year-old Jackson-Milton High School.
Bond issue
Money for the estimated $2.5 million stadium project would come from passage of a 1-mill bond issue on the Nov. 7 general election ballot, board member Mitch Mascioli noted. The stadium would be used for football and soccer games as well as for track meets, Superintendent Buck Palmer said.
Abbas pointed out what could be contained in the project, such as an eight-lane track protected by fencing; a field house with lockers, office space and a ticket booth; a press box; a lighting and a sound system; and added parking for buses and people with limited mobility. A drainage system would be added to remove standing water from the field, Abbas continued.
Two sets of aluminum bleachers on each side of the field would have total seating for roughly 1,500 and would likely be constructed to prevent people from slipping, Abbas said. Additional items could be included to accommodate track team members who toss the discus or shot-put, the board was told.
Palmer noted that groundbreaking for the stadium could take place in summer 2007; it could be ready by fall 2008.
Parking lot
Also Tuesday, Palmer discussed a new fenced-in parking lot for the district's buses to be built near the elementary school. The work would be aligned with U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommendations that call for protecting school buses from sabotage or terrorism, Palmer explained, adding that he hopes the lot will be completed by year's end.
The superintendent also said that new Internet services will allow more features to be added to the district's Web site. The new site should be launched by October and will make it easier, for example, to access board action and allow pupils who missed school to get assignments, Palmer said.
The board's next regular meeting is set for 6 p.m. Sept. 21 at Jackson-Milton Elementary, 14110 Mahoning Ave.

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