WESTFIELD, NJ — A protest filed by one of the vendors who bid on the contract for the summer work on Kehler Stadium was denied by the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey Thursday, clearing the way for work on the stadium to begin, Westfield Public Schools announced Friday. The appeals court affirmed a previous decision by a lower court.

The work was originally scheduled to begin in May. Due to the delay, Westfield Public Schools Business Administrator Dana Sullivan said that the Kehler Stadium renovations will not be completed by the start of the new school year. She said the district is working with Your Way Construction, Inc. to develop a revised work schedule to minimize the impact on fall sports and other district activities.

“We are pleased with the appeals court decision and eager to get started on the Kehler Stadium renovations,” Sullivan said in a press release. “While we remained confident that the appeal lacked merit and would be denied, we are frustrated that this unwarranted bid protest has set the project back by two months.”

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Work on Kehler Stadium to replace the turf field, track, blacktop, bleachers and to renovate the bathrooms had been scheduled to begin in early May after the contract was awarded to Your Way Construction, Inc. of Irvington, the lowest responsible bidder. The board approved the Kehler contract on March 19.

“The district’s athletic department worked to relocate spring sports in order for work on the stadium to begin on time,” Sullivan said at the May 8 meeting of the Board of Education, adding that plans for the Kehler Stadium project had been carefully reviewed for more than a year, involving architects, engineers, district administrators, members of the Board of Education Facilities and Finance Committees and the full board.

H & S Construction and Mechanical, Inc. of Elizabeth, the third lowest bidder in the process, filed a bid protest that was denied on April 13 by the Honorable Karen M. Cassidy who presided over the complaint proceedings in the Superior Court of the County of Union.

On April 16, H & S Construction and Mechanical filed an appeal which was heard on June 7 by the appellate division.