FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2023
Statement from Mayor Noble Regarding the Dietz Stadium Project:
Not only as Mayor, but as a KCSD parent, I am extremely disappointed in the School Board’s pointless accusations and clear obfuscation of their own unpreparedness.
This manufactured controversy is meant to skew attention from their obvious lack of readiness for this years-in-the-making project to begin. The School Board has had ample opportunity to prepare for the construction at Dietz Stadium, to secure fields for their athletics programs, and to ensure those fields were up to the standards that Kingston students deserve. In fact, the agreement stated that the School District would have a representative on the City of Kingston’s Recreation Commission to weigh in on Dietz Stadium issues and keep the Board apprised, yet the Board has not had a liaison present at these meetings in years.
The Dietz Stadium renovation project began in 2017, when I was able to secure a $10 million grant from New York State, and the City of Kingston began collaborating with the School District to create plans that would make Dietz Stadium a world-class facility. Though the stadium was jointly owned at the time, I was the one who took initiative to make this project happen, and my team that has kept it moving forward, through a pandemic, nonetheless.
My team has continued to secure grants to support funding the project, and grants for additional amenities that improve the stadium complex.
Now, as construction gets underway, we have 11th hour finger-pointing and threats from the School Board to pull funding from this project. A project that would restore a crumbling facility for the good of its students and the entire community.
While the City has taken reasonable steps toward necessary progress on this important project, rather than collaborate for success, the School Board is now pushing for delay. At a point when we have construction beginning– the track has been removed, the Administrative building and snack shack have been taken down, and much more visible progress-- these petty allegations, which have already shortchanged students and families, will only waste more time.
While the School Board’s concerns are unfounded, and we do not expect the Dietz Stadium project to need additional funding, if some future unanticipated request for additional funding should arise, I will work with the Common Council the School Board to address any unforeseen issues.