BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The price tag for the reconstruction of the track and field facility at Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School just got a bit higher.

The Bridgewater-Raritan board of education voted, 4-3 margin, to approve a bid for $38,650 that will be used for the facility’s long jump pit.

This additional expense was not unexpected, as the board voted in August to allot additional funding to the project, not to exceed $55,760, primarily to install a fence and the new pit.

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Board member Barry Walker originally asked to table the resolution concerning the pit. He said there were concerns with the site, including the presence of dead trees in the area, and that it was unadvisable to keep those trees.

“The project might need to slow down,” he said.

He also said there had been a change in the actual shape of the facility, and that compliance with New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) regulations had to be considered.

“Let’s take the time and have a discussion,” said Walker.

Superintendent Russell Lazovick agreed that the site has to be significantly altered, and that mobile pits are also available. He said it had been previously discussed at the committee level to not tear up the track and field facility for usage in high school athletic competition.

The question put to the committee, Lazovick said, was if the work was to be done, then it had to be ensured the facility was completely usable – as it was, the facility had not been maintained in the past.

Lazovick said Walker’s points were well-taken, but added that he didn’t know if a discussion would change anything. He added that the middle school track had never been compliant before, and he reiterated that it is also not a high-school compliant track.

In addition, Lazovick said, he wanted the school board to be comfortable, and that items such as fencing and drainage had also been looked at while working with the architect.

Board member Ann Marie Mead said the students and teachers at the middle school feel that revamping the track and field and long jump pit is important.

“I know it’s a lot of money,” she said, “but nothing’s cheap.”

She added that it is a cost-effective solution, and that the board should either move the resolution or not.

A motion to table the resolution and send it back to committee was defeated by a 4-3 vote. The board then voted to approve the measure.