Voters in the Wappingers Central School District rejected a $175.65 million budget proposal, which included - of keen interest to Goddard -a proposition of $5.56 million for a pair of artificial-turf fields and other athletic improvements.
Turf wars: School districts, athletes weigh costs against benefits to athletes
WAPPINGERS FALLS, NY—Reaching for his morning newspaper May 21, Dave Goddard felt the disappointment many in the neighboring school district shared.
The athletic director at Arlington High School, Goddard read what thousands across Dutchess County did: Voters in the Wappingers Central School District rejected a $175.65 million budget proposal, which included – of keen interest to Goddard -a proposition of $5.56 million for a pair of artificial-turf fields and other athletic improvements.
“I was really saddened to see theirs was defeated,” he said. “I was kind of rooting for them. Everyone thinks we’re rivals, but I really feel for them.”
If any educator in the county understands the plight of districts such as Wappingers, it’s Goddard. His district had been blessed by a stronger economy, good timing, a sizeable private donation and taxpayers’ approval to bring state-of-the-art synthetic turf facilities to Arlington High School.
“It’s a good thing for the kids,” Goddard said of Arlington’s two turf fields, which welcomed play last year. “Hopefully, our kids realize they’re very lucky, and they’re very fortunate.”
Indeed, as districts across the state like Wappingers debate whether to opt for turf, both proponents and opponents have been making their case. Along the way, local athletes and coaches have been exposed to the many perks of the new technology that has made turf fields safer, more durable and cost-effective over the long haul.