SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – After going ten years without a usable athletic stadium, the Public Service Leadership Academy at Fowler is finally on the path to getting one.
In April the Syracuse City Common Council voted unanimously to borrow up to $20-million-dollars for a new sports stadium, two bids were submitted and a few weeks ago construction along South Geddes Street began after years of waiting.
“We’re fulfilling a promise,” said Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh.
Back in 1997, then Fowler High School was promised a new field but several delays, due to financial issues meant that promise never became a reality.
The last time the Fowler football team played a home game was in 2009; calling Corcoran High School “home” since then. The soccer team has been playing its games at Burnet Park.
During the delay between 1997 and 2019, several other Syracuse City schools received their own athletic facility updates including Corcoran and Henninger High Schools – part of Syracuse’s Joint Schools Construction Board’s Phase 1 plan.
“We are excited to finally see the work taking place at PSLA on our new athletic stadium. Our students, staff and the entire community on the near west side have waited far too long for this day. This facility will be something all of us can be proud of and is what our students and families at PSLA deserve.”Superintendent Jaime Alicea, Syracuse City School District
Phase 2 totals $300 million dollars, includes the new field construction at PSLA at Fowler, as well as several other projects around the district.
Syracuse’s Joint Schools Construction Board or JSCD received two bids for the PSLA field construction. The winning bid from W.D. Malone Trucking & Excavating Inc. in Hannibal was $18.7 million dollars.
“The wooden piles are going in and that’s definitely resonating through the neighborhood but that’s good. It’s the sound of some progress,” said Joint Schools Construction Board Program Manager, Chris Gray.
At a JSCD meeting Thursday, Gray added over the next 4-6 weeks crews will be bringing in truckloads of dirt to level out the surface and lay drainage pipes. Once that work is complete a concrete cap will be poured.
“I think it’s going to mean a lot for the students. I’ve spoken to some of them and they feel they deserve a facility not only equal to other schools in the city but to the suburban schools,” said Mayor Walsh
The project will include new tennis courts, a field, and new lights. A completion date for the project has not been set.