Nicholson Stadium renovation project to begin this summer

WELLSVILLE — A major renovation of Nicholson Stadium will get underway this summer after the Wellsville Board of Education hired a contractor for the project during a special meeting held Friday.

The AstroTurfCorp. was approved for the stadium renovation with a bid of $1.9 million, which represented the lowest of the five bids received.

“We are tremendously excited to provide our students with every educational and extracurricular opportunity they deserve,” said Wellsville Superintendent Richard Bereschik.

The stadium project is being funded with money received by the district as part of a property tax abatement agreement entered into with South Field Energy LLC, the company building the natural gas-powered electric plant several miles north of town in Yellow Creek Township. Under the agreement, the school district and township will receive cash payments from South Field in exchange for granting the company a break on new property taxes generated by the project.

The stadium renovation includes replacing the current gravel track with an all-weather track and changing the football field from grass to artificial turf. Wellsville hopes to have the stadium project done by Aug. 23 and to play their first home football game of the season in September on the new field.

“We are well within the time frame to have the stadium done on time,” said Bereschik. “We’re anticipating some of the monies from the Nicholson Stadium renovation will be deleted, because some of the decisions cannot be made until construction begins.”

The payments from the tax abatement program will also allow the Wellsville school district to hire additional staff members, and to update its curriculum, security and technology.

In other action, the school board awarded the contract for replacement of the high school boilers to the Flickinger Piping Co. for $173,451. The company’s bid was the lowest of the four received. Currently only one of the boilers work and, at 20 years old, both are ready to be replaced.