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Partly Cloudy,52°
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Schools
Mepham parents raise field safety questions
Want new bleachers, artificial turf
Scott Brinton/Herald
Mepham has the only wooden bleachers in the Bellmore-Merrick Central School District, according to parents.

A group of a half-dozen Mepham High School parents spoke out at the May 8 Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District Board of Education meeting, calling on the district to replace the old wooden visitors bleachers at the Mepham football field. A number of the seats have worn out or rotted through, and parents said they believe someone will eventually fall from the bleachers and get hurt unless they are fixed.

That discussion led a number of parents to speak out on field conditions, which they said they worry are unsafe for play. All said they would like to see artificial-turf fields installed at the three high schools, which, in addition to Mepham in North Bellmore, include Calhoun in Merrick and Kennedy in south Bellmore.

Bleachers unsafe?

Lynn Hackett, co-president of the Mepham Sports Boosters Association, called the bleachers “an embarrassment” on an “otherwise beautiful campus.” She suggested that the district is leaving itself open to a lawsuit if a visiting spectator were to get hurt.

Mepham’s home-side bleachers are aluminum, but not the visitors’ side. School officials did not say why.

The district has made makeshift repairs to the bleachers where wood has broken or rotted out, but parents say that isn’t enough. The remaining seats are flimsy and could fall through at any time.

Fran Licausi, the sports boosters co-president with Hackett, said the visitors-side “bleachers are really, really bad,” adding that field conditions are “deplorable.”

Calls for artificial turf

Sab Caponi, a Mepham lacrosse parent who has spoken out about field conditions in the past, asked whether the Central District would consider installing synthetic-turf fields to replace the grass fields at the three high schools.

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