Just Sayin’: Port Richmond Sports Complex needs to be finished NOW!
ICT Tac. ICT Tac.
Port Richmond High School football parents are running out of patience.
Closed since mid-season 2019, the new Raiders sports complex – which includes the football pitch – was due to be completed by August 2021.
It never happened.
Blaming it for the pandemic, the Schools Construction Authority, which has done excellent work around the island on other sports complexes, said it would be done by August.
This is not the case either.
Instead, the school is being told the field won’t be ready until late October or early November, meaning the Raiders may not play the field at all this season.
But it’s not just the football team that’s been affected. These are the school’s soccer, track, tennis, softball, and baseball teams, although the latter two only play in the spring.
“We encountered roadblocks. COVID played a role, however, after everything opened up, no one was on the field working,” said Missy Vega, one of the Raiders football team moms, who mission to ensure that the team plays on the pitch this season. . “He was abandoned. We needed drains, and of course (there was) contaminated soil that kept them from working for four or five months. (But yet, it was) okay for children to go to school next to the ground? »
Vega says the Schools Construction Authority is now blaming the turf company – AstroTurfUSA – for the delay.
“Our turf was made a year ago (by the manufacturer). We have Twitter images (from June 2021) of the company located in the United States,” Vega said. “We are told (the reason) is the delay of turf from overseas.”
Indeed, a source told Advance on Saturday morning that the turf arrived at the school six weeks ago in white rolls visible in the photos accompanying this report.
So what’s the heist?
The source said some work is done and then the five-man work crew has to wait for a supervisor or city inspector to show up to approve the work and it can take weeks each time.
But Vega says she hasn’t seen any work in progress.
“There is no work going on because no worker is there to do the job,” Vega said. “It’s a joke, one guy in the field, another on the phone!”
All of this infuriates Vega.
“It’s heartbreaking. It’s frustrating,” she said. “Last year, the seniors couldn’t play on their pitch. Some parents have even taken their children out of the team this year, seeing that there will be no pitch.
Vega says the program cannot get a straight answer from the Schools Construction Authority. They’ve been in touch with new North Shore council member Kamillah Hanks and Borough President Vito Fossella’s office and hope for good news soon.
Port Richmond athletic director Nancy Cena did not return a phone call to Advance, which was seeking comment.
The only positive is that the bleachers have been overhauled and completed and look and feel good.
“The bleachers are done, but we have nothing to watch,” Vega said with a sarcastic laugh.
Vega says completing the field is important for more reasons than the obvious.
“Football keeps boys out of gangs, away from drugs,” she said. “A field is important.”
In the meantime, the school’s football and soccer teams will have to hit the road again for what looks like the full season, just like they did in 2021 when the teams played at various HS pitches across the island. .
Since football starts early, the school’s grid team practice on a 30-meter rocky field at one of the middle schools on the island and leave for football camp in about 10 days, this will be the first time this offseason that she trains on a regulation. medium-sized soccer field. But when they come back from camp, they will be road warriors again.
The Raiders’ first home game is scheduled for October 1, but it looks like that will have to be moved to another venue.
In the meantime, the PR sports complex is in limbo.
ICT Tac. ICT Tac.