CLARK, NJ – At their October 16th meeting, the council introduced a bond ordinance in the sum of $735,000 for needed updates to Arthur L. Johnson High School’s football field and surrounding track.  The public hearing for the proposed ordinance is set for November 6 at 7:30 p.m. in room 30 of the Municipal Building.

The $735,000 will be split 50/50 between the Township of Clark and the Board of Education over a 5-year period.  “Of course, the Board of Ed uses it for their athletic events but the township’s recreation department and other township groups use it also.” 

Mayor Sal Bonaccorso explained after 10 years, the synthetic field is worn down.  “When we did this ten years ago it was a much costlier project and, I have to say, probably one of the best projects we have done for this town for the use we got out of it,” said Bonaccorso.  “We were one of the leaders of the county putting that field in for our kids.  And it’s a good thing even as far as safety goes as they aren’t laying on chemicals and fertilizers.”

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He went on to say that the Clark Board of Education has done patches on the areas that needed repair but “it’s now time for a new one.”  Other districts who had their fields put in around the same time, are also beginning to replace theirs.

Councilman Brian Toal asked if we could expect another 10 years after the updates are done.  “Hopefully we can get another 10 to 12 years out of it this time around,” responded Bonaccorso.

“The track will also be repainted as it has faded badly after 10 years and that is of course open to all the groups.  Citizens go there and walk the track a lot at night,” said Bonaccorso.

A question arose at the Council’s workshop meeting earlier this month regarding the track’s size.  Currently, it does not meet regulation standards and cannot be used for events such as regional meets.  Bonaccorso explained that revamping the size of the track was not part of the proposed updates.  He went on to say that the ALJ track and field, as well as the Township, does not have the capability to host meets of that size and nature.

 “We are most grateful to Mayor Bonaccorso and Town Council for their willingness to partner with us on these upgrades,” said Clark’s Superintendent Ed Grande.  “Their ongoing support is a critical contributing factor to the greatness of the Clark Schools.”

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