Posted by on January 9, 2020 1:31 am

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Categories: Local News

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.

online petition pottsville practice fields

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.

online petition pottsville practice fields 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.

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27 responses to More Than 500 Join Petition Against Pottsville School District’s Recent Boondoggle

  1. Just saw January 9th, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    Been saying for years something fishy going on here. Alot of superintendents have been fired for less. St clair and crestwood come to mind.

    Reply

    • admin January 9th, 2020 at 4:29 pm

      He may be responsible for some of the decisions but ultimately, it falls on the school board to be the best stewards of our money. How did 5 people think this was a good idea considering the financial state of the school, the lack of transparency that led to that state and virtually no research done on the topic prior to the vote. Some who voted ‘yes’ have only been on for a couple weeks.

      Reply

      • Just saw January 13th, 2020 at 9:31 pm

        He pushed the ipads and even claimed in the paper that people would move to the district because of them. What a joke!

        Reply

  2. Dusan Neumann January 9th, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    I can’t sign the petition – it is greyed out. Sign it at my behalf, please.
    Stop this costly green nonsense.

    Reply

    • admin January 9th, 2020 at 5:42 pm

      Your protest is noted. Honestly, not sure how effective a public voice is to the group at which this is aimed.

      Reply

  3. insider January 9th, 2020 at 10:41 pm

    Maybe the soccer teams need a sugar daddy like the boys basketball team(who happens to be a board member)to have their own field.

    Reply

    • Just saw January 13th, 2020 at 9:28 pm

      Ha! That’s a good one. Make the football team use the football field to practice like other teams do around here.

      Reply

  4. Dusan Neumann January 10th, 2020 at 1:40 am

    Probably not much, but better than nothing

    Reply

  5. Mark January 12th, 2020 at 9:03 am

    The baseball field at Alumni field is used by the Pottsville Teener League Baseball teams, usually the 13 and 14 year old teams. If that is gone it will hurt the baseball program also because limited use is granted to Stedle Field at the 16th Street Baseball complex

    Reply

    • Carolyn January 14th, 2020 at 3:33 pm

      And they were hurting for jv team last year in high school

      Reply

  6. insider January 12th, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    Put the panels on top of the Laurel St. federal buildings?Within 2 miles!

    Reply

  7. insider January 12th, 2020 at 5:54 pm

    Teachers-no raise in 5 years!But $ for a lark?????

    Reply

    • admin January 12th, 2020 at 6:32 pm

      No CONTRACT for how long? You suggested panels elsewhere; we’re thinking nowhere is a better option.

      Reply

      • insider January 12th, 2020 at 8:12 pm

        Being cute.Isn’t a board member in charge of those buildings?Wink-wink.

        Reply

  8. Interested January 13th, 2020 at 8:22 am

    This was a setup from day 1. The vote occured a few days after the new members were sworn in. No discussion. No investigation no bids just a rush to push thru another bad idea in pottsville. It seems the lines are already drawn as to what side the new members are voting. Also what about the unanimous vote of no confidence for zweibel that was kept quiet?

    Reply

    • Just saw January 13th, 2020 at 9:25 pm

      He’s been in over his head from the beginning. Should have stayed a elementary principal, that he could handle.

      Reply

  9. NOT A FAITHFUL FRIEND January 13th, 2020 at 8:49 am

    Now the teachers union got approval to strike if necessary. While this petition is just and I hope the board changes its mind I fear this will not happen. As an alumnus of this former great district, it’s a shame that the board and administration let it come to this. These panels are not what the district needs RIGHT NOW. They are losing great teachers to other districts in droves and they( PASD) still cant figure out why. The children will suffer with a strike, but at the end of the day, the teachers need a fair and just contract or else the district will become an entry level job for teachers and not a pinnacle.

    Reply

    • insider January 13th, 2020 at 9:39 am

      Bravo.

      Reply

    • Carolyn January 14th, 2020 at 3:35 pm

      They are leaving because they aren’t being paid !

      Reply

  10. Okay Boomer January 14th, 2020 at 9:59 am

    Let’s just make it clear that the iPads are quite useful academically. They’re used in many classes for projects, avoiding the old hassle of shuffling classes into the library for research projects. They allow projects like the economics class stock market project to exist which teach us great things about global economics. They allow us to use online textbooks, or take pictures of our textbooks, to avoid carrying tons of heavy books and causing back issues that you boomers are familiar with. The list of benefits goes on and on. Why do people call them useless? Is it because your kid has 5 study halls in one day and doesn’t pay attention in their classes already? The only people who I’ve heard say that they’re useless are the cruddy students who are only there because it’s state law. You need to stop listening to the lazy kids and start paying attention to the ones who are going to actually be successful in life.

    Sorry to go against the popular beliefs of all you boomers afraid of your toaster. Technology is necessary for adequate research. And no, we don’t care that you worked harder when you were in school.

    Reply

    • admin January 14th, 2020 at 11:22 am

      Those are some of the weakest defenses of iPads in the schools we’ve ever heard.

      Reply

    • Just saw January 14th, 2020 at 9:16 pm

      Hey my kids took advanced classes in Pottsville. Kids learn better from books, underlining things and returning to physical pages. New isn’t always better. It’s bad for the eyes to constantly stare at screens. The money output wasn’t worth it. If it’s needed for sucess why dont colleges require them?

      Reply

      • insider January 18th, 2020 at 10:53 am

        Many colleges do require students to rent their i-pads for courses.It is the 21st century.They are essential in almost all occupations.

        Reply

        • admin January 18th, 2020 at 12:41 pm

          iPads are essential? Hard to get behind that statement. For starters, if college kids “need” them, they will pay for them, not us. If we’re discussing productivity in school or on the job, tablets just don’t cut it. We’d love to know what the iPads are being used for at Pottsville. So far, all we know is they’re used for creating videos (great if everyone plans on becoming a YouTube influencer but even then, most of them aren’t using iPads), following some other teacher’s lesson plans on any number of sites like KHANNNNNNNNN! Academy, or taking pictures of book pages they need to read. That all doesn’t sound like it’s worth it. You can’t write a research paper or essay or anything using an iPad.

          Reply

  11. Carolyn January 14th, 2020 at 3:37 pm

    The iPads are used constantly,at least in the middle school

    Reply

  12. Mark January 21st, 2020 at 11:46 am

    The iPads are often used for other things not related to academics. How about taking a screen shot of a test and sending it to friends or taking inappropriate pictures?

    Reply

  13. Pottsville School Officials Facing New Backlash Over Proposed Cut in Publication Department - Coal Region Canary February 19th, 2020 at 5:58 am

    […] More Than 500 Join Petition Against Pottsville School District’s Recent Boondoggle […]

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