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Montville High Property to be Adjusted to Fit Lazar Fields

The power lines being constructed prompted the need to relocate playing fields.

There may be changes coming up for the Montville Township High School.

With the power lines that being constructed behind Lazar Middle School, the district is looking to relocate the playing fields. At the Dec. 3 school board meeting, Superintendent Paul Fried discussed the possibility of reconfiguring the high school property to accommodate the middle school fields.

“The board of education has been concerned about what the effects of the new power lines might have and this has been a concern over many many years,” said Superintendent Paul Fried. “A settlement with … the power company has an award that will allow us to relocate the two fields that are behind Lazar. One is a baseball field and another is a softball field. The board attempted to work closely with the township to potentially relocate those playing fields across the street from Lazar where the community park has its fields, but that did not work out.”

Lazar will still be able to hold physical education classes on the township property across the street as well as any recess activities; “that’s very convenient for us.”

“As we were considering various options and properties around the community,” a solution came to light when Athletic Director Paul Pignatello approached Fried “with an idea to reconfigure to some extent the actual property at the high school. He was very sure that we could create a full size girls varsity or JV softball field on our property as well as potentially do some other things that would enable us to not only increase the number of fields, the quality of our fields, but to have it right on our property, very convenient for our high school students.”

If all goes smoothly, there will be at the high school:

  • Boys varsity baseball field, boys JV baseball field, boys practice infield
  • Two full-sized girls softball fields
  • A multi-purpose field

“Our dream configuration … would be to turf the boys baseball field and have that turf run across the entire property … and we would be creating a new girls softball field that would also be turfed,” said Fried. “We would have two girls softball fields on the property adjacent to each other. Right behind the boys baseball field, have a boys practice field, we couldn’t fit in a full baseball field.”

“The expanse that runs across the outfield of the boys varsity field … we could fit another full sized multi-purpose field for soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, etc …”

Jim Tevis, the business administrator, has gone out with proposals to look for a design firm to help the district look at its property and “bring this concept to fruition.”

“We have a fairly aggressive time table in place,” said Fried. “We hope to break ground after the girls softball and boys baseball season.”

The district does not have any “inclusive” information on when the power lines should arrive. The “unofficial” information they’ve received is that the 230 kV lines should arrive at the end of December and on April 1, the 500 kV power lines should arrive.

One of the resolutions that was passed at the Dec. 3 meeting in relation to this issue was a consulting agreement to perform an Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) Survey on Lazar. There will be three EMF readings at various outdoor and indoor locations. The first will be with no power, a second when the 230 kV lines come on and the third when the 500 kV lines come on.

The district will appoint Aero Environmental Services, Inc. of Succasunna to perform a baseline EMF strength survey at Lazar at a fee of $725 per sampling site visit, which will not to exceed three site visits at a total of $2,175.

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