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School mulls next steps for field after bond vote fails

November 5, 2021 GMT

BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) — After voters turned down a $3.5 million bond to pay for improvements to the athletic complex at the Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington, the question remains about what to do with the dilapidated athletic field.

The project would have replaced the running track and playing surface at the complex and added energy-efficient lights and accessible bathrooms, the Bennington Banner reported. On Tuesday, voters rejected the bond proposal by a vote of 1,217-841.

“I will ask the Spinelli Field Ad Hoc Committee to reconvene in the coming weeks to review next steps,” said Superintendent James Culkeen on Wednesday.

School board members, including some who opposed the project as too expensive or raised concerns about possible PFAS chemical contamination from synthetic turf, said improvements are needed, particularly to the poorly drained playing field.

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“I am disappointed that the high school will not get the track, field, and athletic building upgrades that it sorely needs,” Mount Anthony board member Carrie Bond wrote in an email. “However, I think this setback gives us a chance to explore more environmentally sound ways to improve our athletic facilities for our kids and community.”