Auburn

CCC, Auburn school district announce plans to build new stadium, install turf at Holland Stadium

2012-06-12T03:30:00Z CCC, Auburn school district announce plans to build new stadium, install turf at Holland StadiumKelly Voll The Citizen Auburn Citizen
June 12, 2012 3:30 am  • 

AUBURN | Cayuga Community College and the Auburn Enlarged City School District on Monday jointly announced intentions to pursue a capital project that would result in a new CCC stadium and the addition of synthetic turf to the district's Holland Stadium next door.

CCC also announced a $500,000 naming gift from Dr. Joseph F. Karpinski, whose extensive history with CCC includes being a founder of the Cayuga County Community College Foundation. Karpinski, a well-known retired oral and maxillofacial surgeon, and his late wife, Floryanna "Honey" Karpinski, were heavily involved in the Auburn community, regional and state organizations, and traveled the world helping those in need of medical and oral care.

"I hope this athletic facility will encourage, not just the college campus members, but all of us to pursue healthy living through exercise and athletic competition," Karpinski said at the press conference. "Sports can teach us so much about ourselves and about getting along with others. Through sports, we learn about teamwork, persistence, success, disappointment, leadership, practice and self-discipline — all valuable skills for success in life."

The proposed Dr. Joseph F. and Honey Karpinski Athletic Stadium Complex would cost an estimated $6 million, according to CCC. The 150,000-square-foot complex would be located on three acres of land the school district has agreed to swap with CCC; the land is on the shared border between Auburn Junior High School and the college.

In return for the land on which to build its own turfed stadium, CCC would install turf at Auburn's Holland Stadium, located behind the junior high school, which is adjacent to the CCC Auburn campus.

Daniel Larson, CCC president, said the college cannot spend state money on upgrades to school district property, so instead CCC will attempt to secure other non-taxpayer funds through fundraising.

"We will assist with fundraising so that turf can be installed on Holland Stadium," he said.

The Karpinski stadium would be located behind Spartan Hall and feature a softball field, baseball field and a multi-use field (for soccer and lacrosse. It would have 1,500 spectator seats and 5,000 square feet for locker rooms, dugouts, public restrooms and a concession stand, according to CCC.

Larson said the $500,000 gift from Karpinski, called Dr. Joe by friends, is the largest gift the college has ever received from a living person.

But the project will require $5.5 million more to be completed. According to CCC, the college will try to secure $3 million in matching funds from New York state and hopes to raise the other $2.5 million through Faculty Student Association funding, student activity fee revenue, collecting rent for use of the fields and launching a capital fund-raising campaign.

Besides the still-needed funding, the stadium project needs approval from CCC's Board of Trustees, the Auburn school board and the Cayuga County Legislature. The school board is scheduled to vote on the land transfer concept at its meeting tonight.

Superintendent J.D. Pabis said that since the three acres will be exchanged with CCC for goods or services, a public referendum is not needed, although one would be needed if the transaction were a sale, he said.

"It's a board resolution," he said.

If all three boards approve the project, the proposal would be sent to the State University of New York for approval from the state.

"I think we set the stage today for group efforts between municipalities and school districts," said John Camardo, CCC Board of Trustees chairman.

CCC has no on-campus athletic fields and students must travel off campus to have access to a playing facility. In the meantime, the school district has been wanting synthetic turf for years; it dropped a proposal for turf at Holland Stadium in 2008 after the school budget vote failed.

According to CCC, the Karpinski stadium project would "enable the district to move forward with the turf without burdening the taxpayers or requiring their vote," according to a press release.

Pabis said the new stadium will allow the district and CCC to host large regional and state events — concerts, marching band competitions, more than one sports competition simultaneously, and other events.

"This is an unbelievable opportunity for a school district and a college to partner," Pabis said.

Other effects of the proposed new stadium would be the moving of the fitness equipment and main entrance of the nature trails behind CCC east, closer to the Nature Center. Also, 50 out of 972 parking spaces would be sacrificed, but the college could convert a former tennis court into about 56 parking spaces.

Staff writer Kelly Voll can be reached at 282-2239 or kelly.voll@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter at CitizenVoll.

Copyright 2015 Auburn Citizen. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(32) Comments

  1. auburn83
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    auburn83 - June 17, 2012 12:41 pm
    ter37 said: "Auburn83, is that your best rebuttal that the current grass needs maintenance. Maybe we should just field turf all the school properties!"

    Now you are being ridiculous - your argument was weak to begin with and you are grasping at straws to find a reason to be upset. There are maintenance costs to everything, so claiming we will need to replace turf in 8-10 years as an argument is moot. Every season they have to do multiple repairs and upkeep to the lawns and playing fields (multiple times a year) - that cost money and time and labor ... so maybe you should argue that we should replace all the grass with concrete, because that will last longer than grass or turf and will have minimal upkeep costs.

    How often do you use the Holland Stadium facility? Or the fields behind it? I run there daily and see many others who utilize it as well - I welcome all the improvements that are being planned as they are long overdue.

    Be proud of the progress - not critical

  2. ter37
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    ter37 - June 17, 2012 6:47 am
    Auburn83, is that your best rebuttal that the current grass needs maintenance. Maybe we should just field turf all the school properties!!
  3. auburn83
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    auburn83 - June 16, 2012 7:31 pm
    ter37 said: "Here we go again!! Question 1: What is the expected life of field turf before replacement is needed and repairs during this time. From what I have read it is about 8-10 years.Ok now there are going to be all these added events right, so that means more income.How is this additional money going to be distributed and is there going to be an account set up for replacement and service.My guess is no!!! And the School Board will be coming to the taxpayers again in several years saying we need to raise your taxes for new field turf or we will have to abolish sports,band and all other events that this facility will be hosting.Let CCC buy the land from our school district or lease it would even be better and use these funds to benifit our students and keep our school taxes in line.KEEP THE GRASS IT'S GREEN AND NATURAL NOT SYNTHETIC!!!!"

    Because the real grass there is pristine right? And real grass does not need maintenance right?

    keep trying


  4. Farmer's Gal
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    Farmer's Gal - June 16, 2012 6:49 pm
    Didn't the local taxpayers vote down turf just a few years ago? Sounds like another case of admins wanting something the people don't want and just keep trying until they find a way to push it through. $3 Million from the "State" is still taxpayer money, just from a different pocket.

    I certainly understand and sympathize with athletes trying to compete on inferior footing -- I have 14 pieces of metal in one leg and can never run or play sports again thanks to old-fashioned AstroTurf and the injury it caused me. But something about this just feels uncomfortably familiar, like voting out a politician the people don't like but "someone" vows to toss his replacement and reinstate his policies, against the wishes of the public. What is it with these efforts to push things through despite the public voting the other way? That's what bothers me.

  5. ter37
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    ter37 - June 16, 2012 5:03 pm
    Here we go again!! Question 1: What is the expected life of field turf before replacement is needed and repairs during this time. From what I have read it is about 8-10 years.
    Ok now there are going to be all these added events right, so that means more income.
    How is this additional money going to be distributed and is there going to be an account set up for replacement and service.
    My guess is no!!! And the School Board will be coming to the taxpayers again in several years saying we need to raise your taxes for new field turf or we will have to abolish sports,band and all other events that this facility will be hosting.
    Let CCC buy the land from our school district or lease it would even be better and use these funds to benifit our students and keep our school taxes in line.
    KEEP THE GRASS IT'S GREEN AND NATURAL NOT SYNTHETIC!!!!
  6. liberal karl
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    liberal karl - June 16, 2012 4:02 am
    auburn83 said: "IT IS NOT AN AUBURN SCHOOL DISTRICT PROJECT! This is a CCC project -- funding from this according to state law must come from sources other than the college's general fund. CCC is doing just fine academically ... they have been upgrading and investing heavily over the past decade improving their academic infrastructure - now they are turning their attention to the athletic department.CCC has had their priorities right: academics; arts; athleticsstop whining"
    Thank you for setting me straight about this. I was misinformed, and appreciate the information.
  7. auburn83
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    auburn83 - June 15, 2012 10:30 am
    liberal karl said: "It's not about "pessimism". It's about priorities. Schools everywhere are already underfunded, and teachers have to buy their own school supplies in many cases, and does every student at Auburn have access to computers? How about Music class, which has been proven to make children smarter? Art classes? Something where kids LEARN? Seriously--what kind of idiot would spend SIX MILLION dollars on grass and a facility when kids are being shortchanged in so many ways, educationally?"


    IT IS NOT AN AUBURN SCHOOL DISTRICT PROJECT! This is a CCC project -- funding from this according to state law must come from sources other than the college's general fund. CCC is doing just fine academically ... they have been upgrading and investing heavily over the past decade improving their academic infrastructure - now they are turning their attention to the athletic department.

    CCC has had their priorities right: academics; arts; athletics

    stop whining
  8. liberal karl
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    liberal karl - June 15, 2012 8:08 am
    Auburnian3 said: " But I am sure most of you pessimists in Auburn will complain about how the funding should go somewhere else like Liberal Karl instead of realizing and supporting a great opportunity for the community..."It's not about "pessimism". It's about priorities. Schools everywhere are already underfunded, and teachers have to buy their own school supplies in many cases, and does every student at Auburn have access to computers? How about Music class, which has been proven to make children smarter? Art classes? Something where kids LEARN?

    Seriously--what kind of idiot would spend SIX MILLION dollars on grass and a facility when kids are being shortchanged in so many ways, educationally?

  9. jlmorgansr
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    jlmorgansr - June 14, 2012 5:38 am
    Flinko I am well aware of who has to raise the 5 million dollars. I realize it isn't the AECSD. But I am trying to show that once again millions are being spent BEFORE ducks are in order. THE ACD, placed a 20 million dollar capitol project up for approval yet they were running a deficit. The Down Town Theatre Group are millions in the hole and they have yet to lay a corner stone, yet it cost the tax payers heavily already. Now the college, 5 million is a huge DEFICIT, my question was how were they going to close that gap? Ask for more money from the county? Take a wage freeze? Raise tuition? Have a duck derby and car raffle? Or just go out and sell widgets? These are a few examples of how short sighted some people are. I would never vote in favor of a project if it meant we were millions in the hole before the agreement was signed. It sounds stupid to me. But it is what it is.
  10. Flinko
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    Flinko - June 13, 2012 3:01 pm
    jlmorgansr said: "I criticize attempts to spend millions and place the district further in debt when you are already in a deficit. Timing is everything, especially when you are spending the taxpayers money. 5 million dollars is a huge amount of money to make up, so how will it be done? An honest question, that deserves an answer. If it is necessary to close a building and lay people off, and still have a deficit the following year, how on earth can you justify spending anything but operational costs? Just my opinion." ???

    What are you talking about?

    Any extra cost is on CCCs tab! Goodness Jerry read the article. It is a land swap, aecsd gives land, they get turf. It went to board vote and it was ratified. Now the fundraising begins.
  11. jlmorgansr
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    jlmorgansr - June 13, 2012 12:08 pm
    also have to agree with the comments poo-pooing the naysayers - Jerry, I often agree with a what you say, but I have to wonder, if you're so unhappy living here, why not move somewhere else?

    Ben, if you read my post carefully you will see that I am not criticizing the project. I criticize attempts to spend millions and place the district further in debt when you are already in a deficit. Timing is everything, especially when you are spending the taxpayers money. 5 million dollars is a huge amount of money to make up, so how will it be done? An honest question, that deserves an answer. If it is necessary to close a building and lay people off, and still have a deficit the following year, how on earth can you justify spending anything but operational costs? Just my opinion.
  12. Ben
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    Ben - June 12, 2012 8:41 pm
    To be honest, I've never understood the turf. Might be a generational thing (scary!). I just cannot approve of money being spent on something like that. It's not like a college or university where that sort of installation may actually attract students - the kids are here already. I don't know, seems silly.

    That being said, I'm completely in favor of the project as a whole. I think CCC has been making great progress recently and this only serves to further its mission, viability, and value to our community and surrounding area.

    I also have to agree with the comments poo-pooing the naysayers - Jerry, I often agree with a what you say, but I have to wonder, if you're so unhappy living here, why not move somewhere else?
  13. AuburnianAgain
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    AuburnianAgain - June 12, 2012 2:57 pm
    As a former Auburn sports participant, I am definitely for this project. I loved playing in Holland Stadium, but absolutely hated the playing surface. It was never taken care of very well, was uneven and had sizable dips throughout the field. This was all within a couple years of the field being re-crowned. Playing on field turf in college was a much better experience. There is also no statistical data to prove that there are more injuries associated with field turf as concluded by the NYS Department of Health. http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/outdoors/synthetic_turf/crumb-rubber_infilled/fact_sheet.htm
  14. Flinko
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    Flinko - June 12, 2012 12:16 pm
    Board candidates, budget passes, now turf. Jd hit the trifecta. Almost poetic... I cannot wait for my children to use that facility. Thanks Jd.
  15. auburn83
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    auburn83 - June 12, 2012 11:29 am
    Not surprised to see all the negative nancies out in full force. This is a good thing for the community as a whole, and $6m is a cheap price tag for a project this size.

    I find it amusing that people get all up in arms about Holland Stadium and the surrounding area. Remember, there was a capital improvement project passed recently that will help fix up the stadium and grounds. The school district also sold some land to Fox, and per the agreement Fox will be paying to upgrade some things down there as well. There are also private donations and fund raising going on currently to help improve the area.

    When this is all said and done we will have a beautiful multi-purpose facility that the community can enjoy and be proud of.
  16. whybother
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    whybother - June 12, 2012 11:22 am
    I love the fact that they say it won't cost taxoayers anything. But how does the state get the (hopefully) matching millions? I think its from taxes and/or fees? So except for the Dr,s (thank you for being so generous) half a million, the taxpayer is somehow going to pay for most of the rest of it.
  17. type1014
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    type1014 - June 12, 2012 11:15 am
    I played sports at CCC and besides the gym for basketball its said to have to travel for a home game. I am always skeptical as like everyone else I worry about my taxes, but this is really a great step toward improving the area. What else is there to do around here? If you haven't been up to CCC in a while they have done some nice things up there and are really making it a more attractive school to attend, which really helps the area. I know Dr. K. and he loves this area and has always done things to improve it and if he things this will I am confident it will.
  18. Auburnian3
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    Auburnian3 - June 12, 2012 10:12 am
    Field Turf is what is being planned to be installed not Artificial Turf, big difference there. Field Turf is alot safer than Artificial Turf which is really a thing of the past. And the majority of college, and professional teams have Field Turf in their stadiums as opposed to natural grass because it holds up a lot better against nature's elements and is vital in the Northeast. Notice how many NFL stadiums have Field Turf as opposed to Natural Grass this season. And War Historian I appreciate your expertise on the different surfaces. But I have played lacrosse for 18 years and have played a fast-paced, high-impact game on every surface as well. Field turf is very comparable to natural grass in terms of comfortability, and will allow our student athletes the opportunity to use the field year round as opposed to about seven months out of the year. Having a natural grass stadium is great in theory but there is a reason why every school district around us has it; it makes sense.
  19. harley91
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    harley91 - June 12, 2012 9:19 am
    This community really saddens me. Does anyone see the good in anything?? It seems that every decision that has been made in regards to our school district has been bashed. No, I am not a teacher in our district. I am a taxpayer just like everyone else. However, I have 2 children in the sports program, and Auburn is SO far behind in our fields and what our kids play on. The agreement with CCC makes sense and is a good move, and we are also very fortunate that Dr. Karpinski was kind enough to get that ball rolling. If our children are met with such negativity in this community, things will never change and they will be moving out as soon as they can. You would think that we would want to make this community better for the future of Auburn. It sickens me to constantly read the negative comments.
  20. jlmorgansr
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    jlmorgansr - June 12, 2012 9:13 am
    Will this just prove to be another fiasco? I was against the turf because I knew the district was operating with a deficit. They instead insisted they were sound fiscally. I knew this was untrue, and I was proven to be 100% correct. Now how will the college close a 5 million dollar deficit? Will they have another duck derby or car raffle? Or will they raise tuition and book fees and ask for more money from the county? Or maybe they will ask for a wage freeze, after all 5 million is a lot of money it's not a drop in the bucket when the bucket is leaking like a sieve. We shall see if it pans out like the new theatre, they are millions in the hole and they haven't laid a brick yet, so show me the money!!!! For once I agree with you Karl, this money should have been used to improve academics, but it is what it is.

  21. thatsarap
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    thatsarap - June 12, 2012 8:29 am
    Long live Dr.K !!! Trying to make the area better, its the way that he gives is what makes him great. He believes in education and all his children went to college are all successful too.
  22. Prisondeacon
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    Prisondeacon - June 12, 2012 7:22 am
    I have long faulted our citizens for narrow thinking and fearful decision making. High taxes are very much the result of the reluctance of our community to agressively pursue industry ... priming the pump of business with tax breaks always brings more money and jobs. Having said that, high taxes are never a good reason to deny our children of all the tools they need to become highly educated and well rounded adults (who just might then see the value of remaining in the area.) HOWEVER ... turf is not a good idea! I understand that injuries are higher, the surface needs too much continuing maintenance and if students atheletes are going on to college or professioanl sports they will be frustrated because those fields are, by and large, live surfaces not ARTIFICIAL. One must ask, why? Because artificial turf has proven itself to be unsatisfactory and dangerous. Spend the money, build the facilites, repair Holland --- but NO ARTIFICAIAL TURF, please!
  23. The War Historian
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    The War Historian - June 11, 2012 11:10 pm
    I marched 4 seasons in Vanguard, 4 in college, and three in Professional Drum Corps. I have marched astroturf, fieldturf, and every other kind of turf known to man. I will tell you right now, there was nothing better than the natural grass of Holland Stadium. If what you say is true and the stadium is being repaired, good on them, but turf is not needed. We simply need to rehabilitate natural grass and create the premier natural stadium in New York State. Assimilation isn't the answer.
  24. patchwork
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    patchwork - June 11, 2012 10:17 pm
    "But the project will require $5.5 million more to be completed. According to CCC, the college will try to secure $3 million in matching funds from New York state and hopes to raise the other $2.5 million through Faculty Student Association funding, student activity fee revenue, collecting rent for use of the fields and launching a capital fund-raising campaign."

    When I read words like "try" and "hopes", it makes me feel like this is far from a done deal. I see a plan with an initial gift of $500,000 and quite a ways to go to reach $6million. I wish them well and hope that taxpayers don't get stuck with a bill.

  25. jeffyg
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    jeffyg - June 11, 2012 9:27 pm
    The fact is that some people will never be happy and always have to find a way to bash the good things that are going on here. For all of the naysayers, when was the last time you talked with a student athlete and asked them about the condition of their facilities? Did you know that every district outside of Cayuga County has artificial turf (for the most part)? Did you know that those taxpayers paid for it? We are getting it for free. Then again, someone negative nelly who cannot stand progress or improvement will have something to say.
  26. Auburnian3
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    Auburnian3 - June 11, 2012 6:39 pm
    Turf isn't needed at Holland Stadium??? Ask the Lacrosse teams in March and April about that who are using the Auburn High parking lot to hold their practices while every other school district around us have turf. It is a HUGE disadvantage for football, boys and girls soccer, and boys and girls lacrosse teams. Besides, there are already plans by the Auburn school district, and the Auburn Sports Boosters to improve the press box, lighting, and concrete seating if you are unaware...
  27. The War Historian
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    The War Historian - June 11, 2012 5:35 pm
    Great...Holland Stadium gets a carpet. Of course, all of the concrete and the press box are crumbling but at least the playing surface is good. Credit to Dr. Joe for the stadium for CCC. That is a great thing but the turf at Holland is not needed. Instead, use the money allocated to repair the stadium's amenities, use the remainder to re-crown and re-plant the surface. Problem solved.
  28. Floretta
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    Floretta - June 11, 2012 4:05 pm
    Hardly a waste - it gives everybody more playing field, gets the Holland Stadium upgraded without costing the taxpayers, and they can rent/lease the field to others. Sounds like a win to me.
  29. Auburnian3
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    Auburnian3 - June 11, 2012 3:33 pm
    As a recent graduate of CCC I can safely say that the academic facilities at the Auburn campus are in great shape with recent upgrades and additions taking place. The Fulton campus is also in great shape as it had a recent makeover as well. However, athletic facilities have been grossly unattended to for many years at CCC. As a former member of an athletic program there having to travel to Syracuse for home games is unnacceptable. This project is a win for both the Auburn school district, who has needed turf at Holland Stadium for many years, and for CCC who can finally have their athletic programs be on a level playing field with other Junior College programs in the area in terms of recruiting. But I am sure most of you pessimists in Auburn will complain about how the funding should go somewhere else like Liberal Karl instead of realizing and supporting a great opportunity for the community...
  30. to much
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    to much - June 11, 2012 3:18 pm
    Yup keep passing the school budget.Next you will see is some new gold plated goal post!But after all it's for the kids!Turf carpet in this climate more good money spent badly again.
  31. dingaling
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    dingaling - June 11, 2012 2:50 pm
    Well, J.D. finally got his way. Holland stadium will have the turf he wanted. They eliminated positions cut back on things but they are wasting $6,000,000. I hope you people who voted for the budget are happy.
  32. liberal karl
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    liberal karl - June 11, 2012 1:59 pm
    Great. I'm sure the school could use new academic tools--computers, books, etc, and and any number of other ways to help kids learn--but they waste $6,000,000 dollars on a stadium so that kids can play sports.

    Priorities? uh uh...
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