More than 500 people have digitally signed a petition at Change.org opposing Pottsville Area School District’s recent decision to move the football practice field.
The school’s making that decision because it recently decided to invest millions of dollars in solar panels. They’re going to be everywhere, apparently. On the roofs of all the schools and even an array on the field that’s about to be formerly known as the practice football field.
The practice field is also used heavily by Pottsville’s youth football program.
In addition to it being a football field, many people in the community have used the walking path around it. The school says the path will still be there but it’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to go walk around a bunch of solar panels … unless they want to see how the school district keeps pissing away their money.
So, the plan now is to move the practice field to Alumni Field, where the varsity soccer field currently exists. The school is going to get rid of the baseball field that never seemed to get used at Alumni Field and somehow get a football practice field at the complex.
Online Petition Against Pottsville Area School District Solar Panel Decision
The online petition takes exception to this proposal on three accounts.
Beat Up Fields, Risk of Injury
“The field already gets beaten up badly throughout the season & adding the Varsity, JV & Freshman football teams to the equation will make it even worse. This move puts players at a greater risk of injury,” the petition reads.
Lack of Space
The petition continues, “The current soccer practice field is significantly smaller than the game field is. They’re going to take the baseball field out & put the practice field going that way. The end of that field will cut off a third of the current practice field & makes a smaller soccer practice field with nowhere to expand because of bathrooms, bleachers & a press box.”
Less Practice Time
The petition writer also suggests moving the football team to Alumni Field will create a practice time crunch. He writes, “There is barely enough space for the boys and girls soccer teams to practice at the same time. Now, they want to add the football team to that. There is no way that the boys soccer team, the girls soccer team & football teams can be on the field at the same time. This would especially be a problem in the preseason when all teams are trying to prepare for their seasons.”
500+ Signatures, Outrage at Reckless Spending
The clumsy, hidden plan to invest in solar panels all over Pottsville Area School District has many faults. Destroying the long-time football practice field on this project is just part of the problem. And what comes next in field use issues is another problem, too.
Some people adding commentary to this petition say it’s unfair to the soccer program at Pottsville.
“We have an amazing Soccer program! I fear the move of the practice field can hinder that and it would be such a shame to see these hardworking kids suffer,” one commenter writes.
A soccer mom says, “My daughter is a soccer player…I’d like her to have the field to play on when she gets to this level. At the rate things are going, the field will be useless.”
Others say it’s not fair for anyone involved.
Someone writes, “This is taking away from all teams involved. It’s not fair to the children to suffer.”
But most of the people commenting seem to be focused on the hasty plan to invest millions of dollars in solar panels. They say we’ll save money in the long run but in order to do so, will have to float a multi-million dollar bond to pay for them over that time.
Not really discussed and probably not considered in this plan, too, are what costs are involved in disposing of solar panels — especially at the volume we’re buying (err, financing) them — now or in 40 years after their alleged shelf-life runs out.
If these things were considered, no one is talking about it. More importantly, no one talked about it before the newly-formed school board agreed to a plan to buy (finance) them.
That seems to be sticking in peoples’ craw more than anything.
“The school board wasted millions on useless iPads that aren’t used (ask any student) so now they have to attempt to find ways to make up that money. It’s not just an issue about the field it’s a financial issue/mistake. We need new school board members who make logical decisions,” says one comment.
Someone else writes, “This does not seem like a wise financial choice when already in the red, and definitely does not put any of the students/athletes first.”
And this comment questions whether this unfairly affects girls’ sports at Pottsville … in addition to it being a financial mistake: “This is an extremely poor and selfish decision made by the school district. Not only is this fiscally irresponsible to our taxpayers to install these solar panels in a district that is bleeding money and seeing teachers leaving in droves, but it shows the inequality shown to female athletics.”
You can sign the online petition here.
- Pottsville’s Green New Deal – Solar Panels Create E-Waste Crisis
- Pottsville Solar Panels – The Practice Field Red Herring
- Blinded By the Light – The Pottsville Solar Panel Disarray
- Pottsville Schools – No Confidence in Any of Them
- More Than 500 Join Petition Against Pottsville School District’s Recent Boondoggle
- State Audit: Pottsville Schools Finance Management “Especially Alarming”