Stadium Project Back on the Table for CB East
The Central Bucks School District may move ahead with a project to build a sports stadium at its high school in Buckingham.
CB East may get a sports stadium after all.
After years of court cases and debate, the Central Bucks School District on Tuesday will once again take up the idea of building a stadium at the high school in Buckingham.
The school board is set to discuss the project at its meeting at 7:30 p.m.
"We are thinking a public hearing town hall meeting would be appropriate to bring this issue to the community," says the memo attached to Tuesday's school board agenda.
The stadium project was added to the district's long-range capital improvement plan last year.
A design team estimated the project's current costs at about $5.6 million. As outlined, the project would include:
- Demolition of existing areas
- 8-lane running track and field event areas
- Synthetic turf field (would require township approval)
- 3,000 seat grandstands
- Concession building, press box, and two ticket booths
- Site improvements such as fencing, retaining walls and paving
- No lights or sound system are allowed by current zoning, but infrastructure would be installed "for future consideration"
- Costs such as design fees, permits and legal fees
The district set aside $2.5 million from a bond issue in 1997 for the stadium. In addition, the ongoing renovation project at the high school came in about $7 million under budget, because of a favorable construction climate due to the recession, school officials said.
"Those favorable bid results, combined with the $2.5 million originally set aside for the project will cover the projected cost of the new CB East stadium," according to the summary from the district.
First proposed in the 1990s, the stadium has faced one obstacle after another, mostly in the form of challenges from neighbors.
In 1999, the district submitted plans for the stadium to Buckingham Township officials. After extensive review and debate, township supervisors approved a land development plan in December 2002.
But in 2003, neighbors Jeff and Mary Bretz filed a lawsuit over the project, launching what Bucks County Judge Clyde Waite would call in 2011 a "serpentine" course of legal challenges that had the case bouncing back and forth for years.
After Waite's decision in favor of the township and the school board, the Bretzes appealed to Commonwealth Court. But in 2012, that court upheld the decision from county court, finally clearing the way for the stadium project to move forward.