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Which Field Option Do You Favor?


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In one scenario, the lower field at VHS could be turfed for multiple sports and marching band activities.
In one scenario, the lower field at VHS could be turfed for multiple sports and marching band activities.
At Tuesday night’s meeting on the planned school referendum, Verona schools’ superintendent, Steven A. Forte, presented attendees with three options for the fields at Verona High School and a survey to judge their interest in those options.

Option 1 centers on the upper field at VHS, which is also known as Sellitto Field. Forte’s plan would have it turfed for use by lacrosse, soccer, marching band and football. This plan also includes rebuilding and expanding the tennis courts and adding 30 parking spaces. (The tennis courts need to be redone because they were created on the same problem fill as the upper field.) Total cost: $4,481,960.

Option 2 would give more options to more activities. It would remediate the environmental issues on the upper field so it could be used for phys ed classes and practices, then turf the lower field, Doc Goeltz Field, for usage by lacrosse, soccer, baseball, softball, football, and the band. Like Option 1, it would also rebuild and expand the tennis courts and adding 30 parking spaces. Total cost: $5,181,960.

Option 3 would only remediate the upper field for phys ed classes and practices, and fix the tennis courts. Everything else would be put off for a later date. Forte didn’t provide a cost estimate on this option.

[polldaddy poll=7717137]

The referendum meeting did not discuss a plan that has been floated by the Verona Eagles–the youth football and cheerleading group–as an alternative to the new field construction on the Hilltop. But Eagles President Mike Passero, revealed at the meeting that he and Frank Ferrari, the president of the high school football parents group, the Fifth Downers, had met with Town Manager Joe Martin on Tuesday morning to talk about that plan and possible town funding of work to school fields. Passero and Ferrari said that Martin assured them that he would make a presentation to the Town Council, which could lead to action at the Council’s next meeting on Tuesday, January 21.

You can read Forte’s entire presentation here.

Forte showed this photo of multi-sports turfing at Bordentown High School.
Forte showed this photo of multi-sports turfing at Bordentown High School.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citranohttps://myveronanj.com
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Forbes.com. Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].


  1. I’ve read the letter put forth from Mr. Passero on behalf of the Eagles with his suggested plan. I happen to think it makes a lot of sense and look forward to seeing how it is received at the meeting on the 21st.
    My question is this: if Mr. Passero’s plan is accepted, would it require a new referendum, or can those funds just be allocated to a different project? Considering that the referendum also covers a technology investment as well as building and security improvements, it seems as though it would be best if a change in the planned field spending didn’t effect the timing of the vote, and that these projects can start as soon as possible. Does a new referendum have to be written to explicitly lay out the planned spending for the money?


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