Parents Have High Hopes for Hoops Court at Pierson

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The outdoor basketball court at Pierson Middle-High School as seen on May 7, 2019. Christine Sampson photo

Karin Schroeder said she had the backing of many fellow parents when she stood up at Monday’s Sag Harbor School Board meeting and demanded the district’s administration go beyond just fixing up the existing outdoor basketball court at Pierson Middle-High School.

“In an ideal world, we want a bigger court, a better surface, six basketball hoops,” she said.

But for now, Ms. Schroeder said, the lone court at the school is in dire need of repairs.

“The asphalt is old, it’s cracked and it’s filled with dirt, which makes it slippery,” she told the school board. “…The posts are rusty with exposed bolts. The backboard edges, those are very dangerous. The edges of the court are uneven. While we appreciate the work that has been done, we feel that these are Band-Aids.”

Resident Jeff Peters publicly broached the topic of the court’s condition during the April 15 school board meeting, requesting the administration take a closer look.

Sag Harbor superintendent Katy Graves on Monday offered an update at the start of the board’s regular meeting, saying the district’s facilities manager, Paul Wilken, would be taking action.

“He has been proactive. He has ordered safety padding, ordered resurfacing of the basketball court and repainting of the lines,” Ms. Graves said, “and we’ll keep an eye on it.”

Ms. Graves found herself repeating the information for Ms. Schroeder and about four other parents and six students who walked into the Pierson library at around 7:30 p.m., the scheduled start time of the meeting. The board had convened its meeting a few minutes after 7 p.m., immediately after the conclusion of the budget workshop held beforehand.

That’s when school board member Chris Tice suggested the board offer parents the chance to speak, since they’d missed the first public input session of the meeting. A majority of the board agreed and Ms. Schroeder — herself a Pierson graduate — stepped to the podium. She pointed out the court “is used all the time.” She also pointed out it is smaller than a typical basketball court.

“I am here to be the voice of many … both parents and students, and teachers as well,” she said. “We believe that the outdoor spaces in our community are either lacking or need improvement. … My biggest concern is this basketball concern right now, which I think was here when I was a student.”

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