Tonawanda News

June 5, 2013

Residents complain of flooding due to stadium work

By Jessica Bagley
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Residents whose homes back up to the site of the Tonawanda City School District’s new football stadium objected to the effects of the construction on their properties at Tuesday evening’s board meeting. 

Beverly Ranney, of Adam Street, said the grading of the stadium’s site is causing rainwater to flow into the backyards and basements on Adam Street.

“We know that Clint Small Stadium caused flooding of basements, and we will not let this happen again,” she said.

Dan Maxwell, Ranney’s neighbor, agreed and said he spent the day cleaning his basement rug after a minor flood from the recent storms. And more rain is on the way. 

“Where is that water going to go? That same rug I was working on all day,” he said. 

The concerns don’t stop there, though. Ranney is also worried that the water will damage the foundation of her underground swimming pool. A collecting pool of rain that has formed on school property behind Ranney’s home is also concerning, she said. 

“It’s the perfect storm for mosquitos, rabbits, mice,” she said. “That’s a health issue.” 

Ranney also pointed out the bus turnaround being constructed behind her home.

“That will cause a lot of fumes,” she said. “How I am supposed to enjoy my backyard? How will I sell my home?”

Ranney said she has called the Department of Environmental Conservation to investigate the issue. Although Ranney demanded a response from the board, President Jackie Smilinich said the district was not prepared to respond to the concerns yet, but she promised to do so. 

After the public session of the meeting, Brian Brady, of Wendel, the architectural manager of the capital project, presented the board with the drawings of the music and band room renovations. The district originally planned to complete additions for the two rooms, but the bids for that portion of the project came in more than $600,000 over budget. 

The new drawings detail a raising of the band room’s roof.

“Back in the 50s, 60s and 70s, floor plans were only based on the number of students,” he said. “But what we have learned since then about acoustics is that a certain amount of volume is needed to absorb sound.”

Per the drawings, the height of the band room will be increased from nine feet to 18 feet, Brady said. 

“It is a big, spacious room with great acoustics,” he said.

Brady said the choral room’s ceiling was not an issue, but that the small size of the room caused echoing. A modest width increase has been planned. 

The board must now decide on what acoustic materials they prefer for the rooms. Brady is hoping to complete the designs and final engineering work within two months. The altered plans will then be sent to the state Department of Education for a brief review, which will likely take about two weeks. Then construction can begin. 

The board must also decide how to use $1 million allocated for technology and security improvements. Wendel presented the board with a list of priority projects Tuesday. 

The total cost of all six projects amounts to a little less than $1 million, so the board could choose to implement them all. Two of the projects are infrastructure improvements to cabling and data switch technologies that make the rest of the endeavors, including swipe-card access doors and security cameras, possible.

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000 ext. 4150, or follow her on Twitter at @JessicaLBagley