The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

February 21, 2013

Geneva BOE to demolish stands, pressbox at Memorial Field

By MARGIE NETZEL - mnetzel@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

HARPERSFIELD TOWNSHIP — The Geneva Board of Education will demolish the grandstands, visitor’s bleachers and pressbox at Memorial Field on Eastwood Street and remediate the property, the board revealed at its meeting Wednesday.

“The board has decided and has been forthcoming that Memorial Field, unfortunately, does not meet the long-range plans of our district,” board president David Foote said. “Finances and practicality of Memorial Field use is not prudent. These decisions have not been taken lightly and have been made considering what is in the best interest of our students.”

The district, Foote said, simply does not have the funds to restore the fire and flood damaged field to use for scholastic sports.

“We are working with less money,” he said. “We lost $1.8 million last year and got a slap in the face this year with no additional funding from the state. We don’t have the monies for a field for ourselves, and at $20,000 a year, the use of the facilities at Spire is in the best interest of our students.”

Last month, Spire Institute and the district amicably agree to drop a property lease for Memorial Field. The district will continue to use the Spire facility in Harpersfield Township until at least 2020, at a stable cost of $20,000 per year.

All is not lost for Memorial Field, Foote said.

“We understand the heritage and tradition of Memorial Field, and this board is working to bring the field back to public use,” he said. “Since the fire in March of last year, steps have been taken and continue to be taken that will hopefully ensure the public use of Memorial Field once again.”