OSWEGO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The athletic facilities at Oswego High School and Leighton Elementary are getting a major remodel: New turf, new locker rooms, with the most visible work set to happen this summer.
The work is part of the district’s $63 million capital improvement project approved by voters in December 2018. Phase 1 included a new district office space and middle school pool, but Phase 2 is by far the most visible.
“It’s the construction of our new multi-purpose stadium at the site of what used to be our softball fields, but what you don’t see is the major improvement to the arts wing of the Oswego High School,” said Oswego Superintendent Dr. Dean Goewey.
That project includes new spaces for the band, orchestra, and chorus programs. The main lobby of the high school is also being redone during Phase 2, which should finish up around November 2020.
Without class in sessio,n Goewey said contractors have also been able to get a head start on removing asbestos and demoing the old locker rooms, which otherwise would have had to wait until summer.
“It’s one positive thing about being virtual,” Goewey said.
The new multi-use stadium, the largest piece of Phase 2, is expected to have turf on it by mid-July and where the old stadium once stood will be two two sod practice fields.
Starting next spring, Phase 3 changes include new turf softball and baseball fields, tennis courts, and plenty more work inside. Goewey, who has been a champion of this project for the past eight to 10 years of planning, said every building in the district is getting attention.
“We wanted the community to see in a really positive way, the impact of their approval of this work and [show them] that it improves teaching and learning for all of our kids,” Goewey said.
Future work includes installing a new track at Oswego Middle School, which, in the future, will hold all of the district’s track and field events, as the high school stadium footprint was too small to include one. Updated HVAC systems and other health and safety needs are also planned.
“Our biggest concern is we’re going to have beautiful new facilities and no teams to play on them, but the health and safety of our kids the most important thing, and eventually, things will be back to normal,” said Goewey.
Goewey, however, will be leaving that “new normal” to a new superintendent. After spending nearly four decades in education, he is set to retire in August, but knows the Port City School District will be ready for the future.