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Briarcliff School Board Deciding On Field Turf

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – The Briarcliff Board of Education is still deciding on whether to put in natural or artificial turf when remediating two athletic fields in the middle school/high school complex that are contaminated with toxic chemicals and metals.

"I need a couple more days to think about it," said schools Superintendent Neal Miller at a Board of Education work session on Monday night.

Four options for remediation were presented by landscape architect Ron Tetelman at a meeting in November: capping the fields with a layer of acceptable topsoil and restoring them with natural grass, capping and restoring with synthetic turf, capping and restoring with asphalt pavement and removing the fill completely and restoring with natural grass.

The estimated cost for capping and restoring with natural grass was $1.45 million, while the cost for capping and restoring with artificial turf was estimated to be $3.65 million.

Miller said he feels that restoring the fields with natural turf is the best option, but several school board members had not ruled out artificial turf.

"The board will make a decision on what they intend to do with the two fields and after that, there'll be a plan that's put into the state Department of Environmental Conservation for their final review and approval," said Michael Musso, a senior project engineer with HDR, a company that performs site investigations.

Attorney Michael Bogin of the law firm Sive Paget & Riesel that is dealing with the legal aspects of the fields remediation, said a decision on how to remediate the fields that is submitted to the DEC is not necessarily unchangeable, but once an engineering work plan is in place, the decision will be difficult to change.

School board trustee Salvatore Maglietta noted that even if the school district receives approval from DEC to begin remediation work within a few months, it will still be a long time before the fields are ready for use.

"It'll be two years before we have a playable surface," trustee Eric Bashford said.

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