Northwest approves field turf, new track as part of stadium project

2 April 2018

The Northwest Area School Board recently approved the installation of field turf at its high school football stadium as part of a $2.5 million project that also includes a 400-meter synthetic track as well as new lighting.

In addition to all that, the stadium’s outdated bleachers will be renovated to meet federal requirements under the American with Disabilities Act.

The vote to approve the project, which has been under serious discussion for at least the last year, was 7-1. The lone vote in opposition came from Director Alton Farver.

The general contract for the work was awarded to Schlouch Inc., of Reading. Schlouch will install the underlying padding and field turf for $409,106.

Track costs were placed at $156,120 with chain-link fencing adding about $12,685 to the bill. The project also includes the construction of a new ticket booth for $23,340.

The new lighting was priced at just below $350,000.

The plan includes paving to improve fan access to the bleachers.

School board chairman Gary Boberick said the goal is to reduce maintenance costs at the field as well as eliminate safety concerns for players and the public.

He noted Northwest is getting an $826,000 state grant derived from gambling revenue to help cover the project, plus $50,000 from the Berwick Health & Wellness Fund. The rest of the money, $1.8 million, will come via a bond issue that will span through 2031.

Leigh Bonczewski, building and grounds chairman, said work on the field is scheduled to start in May and the new surface should be ready for the football and field hockey seasons this fall. Meanwhile, the new track should be available for use by the 2019 season.