June 8, 2023
Dietz Stadium (Photograph by Lauren Thomas)

By their very own admission, the Kingston Metropolis College District’s (KCSD) plans to make sure different athletic fields within the district had been usable in the course of the $18.7 million renovation of Dietz Stadium haven’t been fully profitable.

Throughout a gathering of the Board of Schooling held on Tuesday, April 18, Joe Beichert, a dad or mum of three KCSD college students, chided trustees and district directors for the state of the fields, significantly these at M. Clifford Miller Center College and Chambers Elementary College, the place spring sports activities like lacrosse are performed, and the place monitor and area groups follow whereas their Dietz house is closed attributable to in depth upgrades. 

“That is unacceptable,” Beichert mentioned, referring to a sequence of pictures that confirmed grassless fields in numerous states of disrepair. “I ask two issues of this board, two easy issues. First, to make it possible for the people who find themselves chargeable for the overseeing the preparation of those fields, together with board members and directors, are held accountable for these failures. Secondly, I name on this board and the administration to be laser centered in correcting these points over the subsequent six months in preparation for the autumn sports activities season and past? It’s time to behave; it’s time to do the job. Our scholar athletes deserve higher than this.”

Later within the assembly, Superintendent Paul Padalino addressed the difficulty, noting that he was on the fields that day they usually had been wanting higher than in Beichert’s photographs. 

“These photos had been most likely taken three weeks in the past,” Padalino mentioned. “The grass is far greener. However I’m not saying the fields are nice as a result of they’re not.”

Beichert famous that final November, college officers mentioned its plans to aerate and seed its fields in the course of the winter to arrange for the spring athletic season. Padalino mentioned these efforts had not been profitable. 

“We did placed on the photo voltaic blankets, we did aerate believing that that was going to assist us develop the grass in that space,” Padalino mentioned. “Final 12 months this board agreed to allow us to put the chemical compounds on the garden to kill all of the weeds. Properly, I used to be on the market at this time and the weeds are again. There are dandelions in all places, however the grass actually isn’t able to mow but both.”

Padalino mentioned one other a part of the issue is the continual use of the fields. 

“These fields get pounded,” he mentioned. “We have now 66 sports activities provided within the Kingston Metropolis College District, and there are 29 of them occurring proper now. And these are all area sports activities.”

Final November, Director of Bodily Schooling, Well being and Athletics Wealthy Silverstein mentioned Kingston must discover a dwelling for round 125 athletic occasions in the course of the Dietz closure, most inside the district itself. 

M. Clifford Miller Center College and the adjoining E.R. Crosby Elementary College already repeatedly featured sports activities fields utilized by Kingston Excessive, together with Gruner Area, dwelling of the Tigers’ baseball group, which whereas Dietz is out of fee may also host area hockey within the fall. At Miller and Crosby, Outdated Burke Area is briefly be the house of modified softball; Fields 1 and a pair of will characteristic boys lacrosse and soccer, within the fall with the previous additionally the positioning of cross nation; Area 3 may also characteristic soccer, women lacrosse, and women flag soccer; Area 4 will welcome each soccer and women lacrosse; Area 5 is the house of varsity women lacrosse and modified soccer. 

In the meantime, at Chambers, there might be soccer and area hockey within the fall and monitor and area within the spring, together with a devoted coaching spot, in addition to an remoted shot put and discus space. Softball, each varsity and JV, may also occur at Chambers. 

However the district was unable to seek out the house inside its personal boundaries for all the pieces: A big annual spring monitor and area occasion hosted by Kingston at Dietz Stadium will as an alternative happen at F.D.R. Excessive College in Hyde Park. And residential video games for the 2023 Kingston Tigers’ varsity soccer group might be performed this fall at Rondout Valley Excessive College, with all these video games being performed on Saturday afternoons as Rondout historically performs its dwelling video games on Friday nights. 

Padalino added that the comparatively delicate winter meant some fields are drier than typical this spring, and due to native snowmobile and ATV fanatics, they’re additionally extra torn up. 

“Snowmobiles don’t care if there’s no snow, they nonetheless come driving throughout our lawns,” Padalino mentioned, “Folks simply tear up our, our property. And this 12 months there wasn’t a lot snow, however the snowmobiles are nonetheless going to journey, which can be ten instances worse.”

The superintendent pressured that the district would proceed wanting into methods to enhance its athletic fields, each in the course of the Dietz renovation and after it reopens. 

“I’m not making excuses that these fields are nice proper now,” Padalino mentioned. “They’re not. We anticipated them to be higher.” 

He added that Assistant Director of Services Dylan Bogart and his crew have been rolling the fields daily to make sure they’re as secure to be used as doable. 

“We’re ensuring they’re clean and don’t have divots,” Padalino mentioned. “They’re not enticing, they’re not the perfect fields we we’ve ever performed on…However so long as we preserve utilizing these fields, they’re not going to be inexperienced pastures.”