Reporting Sean Adams
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Bronx high school known for its football program is 20 yards short of its goal of playing a home game.
The field at Lehman High School is only 80 yards long instead of the standard 100 yards. It has forced the team to play every game on the road for the longest time. However, a few years ago, a solution seemed promising.
The Department of Education granted a $5 million dollar renovation of the multi-purpose field, including new lights, new bleachers and a new baseball diamond. However, like the old field, the new one was built only 80 yards long.
“It’s just ridiculous,” said David White, a member of the team.
“We go to play our games at our Bronx rivals’ houses. Our home games this year will be played at Clinton High School, which is one of our rivals,” said coach Michael Saunds.
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Mario Romain, a football alum, is part of a group suing to get the school a regulation field. He said it is amazing that the renovations could lead to the same mistake.
“There was an error somewhere in the planning. For someone to correct it, I guess it would be a little mud on somebody’s face,” Romain said. “I’m just angry at the adults that are letting the kids suffer.”
The school construction authority insisted there simply wasn’t enough room to build a regulation field. Renovation officials said they would have had to acquire land adjacent to the school, but that it was was owned and controlled by the Army Corps of Engineers.
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However, the Corps said that it does not own any land next to the school.
The Department of Education released a statement saying “the Lehman High School field had been a practice field and is being renovated as a practice field.”
So for now, the renovation blunder has left the Lehman Lions a team without a home and with a field too short to play on.
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