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Berkeley Super: Batting Cages Will Generate Revenue, Benefit Students

Facility will be used by students, leased out at hourly rates

Berkeley Township Elementary School, Bayville (Patch File Photo)
Berkeley Township Elementary School, Bayville (Patch File Photo)
Berkeley Township school district superintendent James D. Roselli touted the installation of batting cages at Berkeley Township Elementary School during a Board of Education meeting Tuesday night, saying they will enhance students' interest in sports and generate revenue for the district.

The district recently purchased two batting cages for $10,000 and installed about $6,000 worth of turf to go with them, Roselli said.

The batting cages, billed as an "indoor pitching/hitting facility," will be leased hourly to individuals or local baseball teams from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, Roselli said. Teams based in Berkeley – or individual Berkeley residents – can lease the facility for $20 per hour for one cage or $40 for both. Out-of-town residents will pay $40 per hour for one cage or $80 for both.

Roselli said outside facilities charge as much as $200 per hour for batting cages, so the district's cages should generate a good deal of interest. The money generated from the leasing fees will go toward "non curricular budget items" such as police officers to patrol the schools, he said.

No one spoke about the batting cages in a public comment period during the meeting, though Roselli was criticized online for appropriating money for batting cages when the district does not have a baseball team.

"I do have two sons who play baseball, and if their teams choose to rent the cages, I will be paying the nonresident rate," said Roselli, a Lacey resident who faced additional criticism by some who said a traveling baseball team he is involved with in another town could benefit from the Berkeley facility.

But, Roselli said, Berkeley students will be able to make good use of the batting cages, which will be used as the district begins to offer a baseball program to all fifth and sixth grade students during their physical education classes this spring.

"This is about the critical time where kids pack it in with sports, just as they’re leaving here and going to middle school," said Roselli, adding that sports are "a gateway to academic achievement."

"The children of these schools will utilize [the facility] for years to come," he said.

The district is hosting an open house to showcase the facility on Thursday at 7 p.m., district officials said.
marty March 20, 2014 at 01:39 PM
Make no mistake, he is a bully, and obviously doesn't care About the children he charged with providing a good Education to. He threatens other teachers, admins, and anyone that doesn't agree with him. The good news, however, is that his kids will get a boost in their batting average this year. This is what I would now like. I would like for teachers, pta's, And those damn automatic calls and texts to stop asking me to see crap, or provide crap for their class or the school. If you don't have enough money to provide that already then use the revenue from the batting cages. I am tired of hearing teachers on the first parent night beg for supplies. I am tired of all the crap I am asked to sell! If there is 16k in the budget for cages, then provide the hard working teachers enough money for supplies! And one last thing, who gets sued when a kid not in the cages, but waiting for the cages, rolls his ankle, and the township is sued for 10 million dollars because there was no supervision? Half thought out ideas for your travel teams are only good when people don't notice. Well sorry thief, we noticed!!!
JSB March 20, 2014 at 02:09 PM
Has anyone answer the question was this project put out for bid? The school must have a policy on expenditures anything over a certain amount requires a bid. School board members speak up do you all agree with how this was handled? Do you agree with the purchase? By the way does the school even have helmets and bats for the kids? Lets hear from some parents who have students at the school. Have any of the students used the cages yet during PE?
FIMF the ll March 20, 2014 at 03:22 PM
In a nutshell, this is how it works: the garden variety public taker extracts your money and puts it in their pockets. When the pockets are full, they buy new pockets and charge you for them.
marty March 21, 2014 at 01:06 PM
I was so happy to see the Facebook pics of the batting cage opening. It was great to see all the travel teams there, and the spectacle that was made. I love how the Girl Scouts were there, onl after the boys outs didn't want to part of the Roselli circus. I was real happy to see the mayor there as well. The same guy who kissed babies and was Mr. Berkeley, until he actually got elected. Now try and say hello.. I was glad to see "his team" there as well. Now I know how to vote every election this point forward... Roselli, keep doing the bang up job you do, soon enough everyone else will catch on... As I have stated before, apathy is the best friend of politicians. Until I heard the whisper of these cages, I was apathetic to what you, and EVERY other politician from this town did. But now I'm not... And it's my goal to awaken the parents of students in town, and to inform them of your corruption, and all the other "team" members... By the way, the travel teams looked great. I am sure there is plenty of time for the other hundreds off kids to use those cages... Thief!
JSB March 23, 2014 at 08:07 AM
Mr. Roselli I thought the batting cages are for the 5th and 6th graders? Why would you have a opening ceremony for 2 travels teams after school hours why not during school with a bunch of students? Wear are the pictures of the students using it? What a joke. Great use of school funds.

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