Orange Bowl work approved by Fredonia Board

The Fredonia Board of Education approved a $39,000 bid for emergency repairs to the Orange Bowl at Tuesday’s meeting.

The work will be done on the home bleachers by Perry Construction Group of Erie, Pa. Perry Construction will install a six-inch-thick reinforced concrete slab underneath the entire length of the bleachers, and will weld new support brackets to the slab and the frame of the structure.

The work is being done because engineers working for the district found the existing supports underneath the bleachers were at least 50 percent deficient. That forced the move of Fredonia’s first home football game on Friday to Brocton, which has combined its team with Fredonia’s for this season.

Superintendent Jeff Sortisio told the board he, Business Administrator John Forbes, and the contractors would meet next Tuesday to go over a game plan for the work. The renovations, which are expected to take a week to 10 days, are expected to start after the meeting. He said the district’s maintenance crew will not be involved in the project, and that no large-scale removal of dirt or gravel will happen.

“If we run into additional issues that we just can’t anticipate at this point, there will be additional costs,” Sortisio acknowledged.

Board member Tom Hawk voiced concerns about heavy equipment going on the field, which already has poor drainage. He wondered if the bid approval should be tabled until the district received more ironclad assurances that the field would not be damaged by the construction at the bleachers.

“Fixing the bleachers and damaging the field isn’t going to help anybody,” said Sortisio. He said district officials were very clear they want to keep the field unharmed, and that he and Forbes would reiterate those assurances to Perry Construction.

“If you don’t do this, we need new bleachers,” Forbes told the board. Hawk wound up joining the board in voting unanimously to approve the bid for the work.

In other business, the board:

¯ Appointed Zachary Foys as a long-term substitute math teacher.

¯ Gave a detailed orientation to new member Lisa Powell Fortna on its duties and activities. The board’s facilities, policy and finance committees were discussed, as was its relationship with BOCES.