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Full Schedule Ahead for Repaired Bennett Bubble

Structure at Intermediate East grounds was damaged in Hurricane Sandy

After deflating from damage sustained during Hurricane Sandy, the Bennett Indoor Athletics Complex is back in use and hosting two months' worth of events.

On Friday, the facility will host Greater Middlesex Conference track events, followed up on Saturday with Ocean and Monmouth County relays. Regional and state events are scheduled there through the end of February, according to the facility's calendar.

"For Toms River, that means all those parents are coming in," said school district spokeswoman Tammi Millar.

Next week, over 9,000 student athletes are expected to participate in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association relays. Those families will spend money in town, dining and shopping locally, according to Millar. 

"The bubble brings in a lot of revenue to the town," she said.

After meeting with FEMA in November, school officials said that the agency will pay 75 percent of the $100,000 insurance deductible, leaving the district with a $25,000 bill. The total cost to fix the facility was quoted by school officials at about $800,000. 

"We are responsible for 25,000 of that regardless of the cost," former Board President Ed Gearity has said.

In a special board meeting after the structure was damaged, school board members heard from residents, Intermediate East staff and physical education teachers and coaches about whether to repair the facility.

In addition to being leased for sporting events, school administrators said that the middle school needed the space for gym classes to avoid overcrowding.

"It was very important to get the bubble back up also for the students of Intermediate East," Millar said.

The full schedule of events is available on the facility's website.

Cosma January 05, 2013 at 12:52 AM
A big problem in todays society is it's all about the kids and the adults come second. We've got it backwards folks... wake up! Entitlement....... B.S. I do'nt recall the TR residents being asked to vote on wether to buy this eyesore do you?
ed crowley January 05, 2013 at 02:00 AM
Do a little research it was voted on.
B.Ainley January 05, 2013 at 03:24 AM
Hey, Cosma... It's a little too late for that... Let it go.
Cosma January 05, 2013 at 05:00 AM
@ big Ed..... The "Bubble" the tax payers voted down, that Mike Ritacco went ahead and had built anyway. zzzzzzzzzzzzz wake up Ed
Ken January 06, 2013 at 01:44 AM
Still think it is a waste of money. If what is being said is true, I don't even want $25.000 of my tax dollars spent on repairing this thing

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