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Byram Hills Considers Fund Transfer Prop for High School Improvements

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Byram Hills School District officials are proposing a vote next spring to transfer $9 million from a reserve fund to the capital fund to pay for a multiyear improvement project.

Money that would be transferred from the District-wide Renovations, Reconstruction and Construction Reserve Fund would pay for reconfiguration of the high school library into a learning commons to be able to have flexible space for larger and smaller groups, installing artificial turf for Field #2 at the high school campus and lights for the main athletic field.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jen Lamia said last at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting that if the public authorizes the transfer during next May’s budget vote and Board of Education election, the learning commons would be addressed first and scheduled to be completed in March 2025.

Lamia said students don’t use the library today as they generations years ago, but need larger and smaller meeting areas to collaborate with one another.

“It is set up exactly as it was in the late ‘60s,” Lamia said. “As a matter of fact, the current table tops and primary sources are exactly the same.”

The estimated price tag for the learning commons is $5,085,000.

The second phase of the plan is to resurface the smaller athletic field with artificial turf to have it be available for greater use. Lamia said that because of the heavy usage, that field becomes a “dust bowl.” The main athletic field already has artificial turf.

Work on converting that surface to artificial turf, which would be completed by September 2025, is expected to cost $1.8 million.

For Phase 3, the district hopes to install modern lights that illuminate only the main athletic field and courts to eliminate disturbance to nearby residents. The lighting project is expected to run the district $2,115,000.

The final phase would be completed by September 2027.


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