UPPER TOWNSHIP – The township will undertake three small projects for the Upper Township School District this summer.
The school district has requested engineering services for a planned extension of the parking lot in front of the Upper Township Elementary School. The district also plans to remove the baseball field behind the elementary school, and has asked the township’s Public Works department to repair sprinklers at the Upper Township Middle School’s field hockey field.
Township engineer Paul Dietrich said at the April 10 Upper Township Committee meeting that he would be able to do engineering for the parking lot. School district officials said in March that they plan to extend the elementary school parking lot in front of the modular classrooms there to provide more parking for staff.
That in turn will give parents more room to park in front of the school during drop-off or pickup times, township administrator Scott Morgan said.
“It will eliminate the continuing parking problems at the school, parents turning around and parking in the street,” he said.
The school district also plans to demolish the modular classrooms and build a new storage facility there next summer.
Dietrich said that no engineering work would be required to remove the baseball field behind the elementary school. He said Public Works supervisors had discussed the job last year and could do the work.
Committeman Hobie Young said the baseball field was the last one in Marmora and he would like to see something available to kids for pickup games.
“We always have a space where kids can get together Saturday or Sunday and have a pickup game,” he said. “There is nothing else in that entire area.”
There used to be two baseball fields behind the elementary school but the other field was removed for solar panels that generate electricity for the school. Young asked if the backstop could remain for pickup games.
“I don’t think we need the infield,” Young said. “We have Somers Avenue, Caldwell Park, it’s important we have somewhere kids can ride their bike up to and hit the ball around.”
Morgan said there was a question about the state of the backstop, and Young agreed it is in poor condition. Mayor Richard Palombo said the township should ask if the backstop can remain temporarily.
“If it’s not a safety issue, see if they can keep it up for the time being,” he said.
Morgan said the township would remove the infield mix and utilize it elsewhere, reducing the cost of other fields. The school district would provide the grass seed to reseed the area, he said. Committeeman Curtis Corson said the topsoil removed for the new parking lot could be used there too.
“It doesn’t even have to leave the site,” he said.
Morgan said the remaining request was for the Public Works department to service the sprinklers at the field hockey field east of the middle school. He said that should not be a problem either.