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Civil service exam traffic wreaks havoc on Guilderland school

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Albany/HV: Civil service exam traffic wreaks havoc on Guilderland school
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A Guilderland school's field is destroyed after thousands of people came through during the weekend unexpectedly. Now the district is seeking both answers and assistance to repair the field. Innae Park has the latest.

GUILDERLAND, N.Y. –- “Speechless,” is the word Dr. Marie Wiles used after thousands of state civil service test takers made their way to Farnsworth Middle School in the Guilderland Central School District on Saturday. The superintendent says there were more than double the number of people the district expected.

"I saw hundreds of cars parked lined up over here on the grass, and I just started thinking. I guess people started parking there because there was nowhere else to park,” said test taker Melissa Faustel.

As she looked around at the damage, she shook her head. "It’s just awful.”

Time Warner Cable News spoke to Guilderland Police, who tell us they would not arbitrarily make a decision to put cars on the field, and there was a school representative present who did, believing the ground was frozen.

Dr. Wiles said, “I'm not sure at this point who made the decision.”

Unfortunately the ground wasn't as frozen as they thought and once it thawed, many of the cars even got stuck when trying to leave. The good news is that no one got hurt. The greater concern now is to determine who will pay for the damage?

“I hope we can all agree that the taxpayers of the Guilderland community will not be responsible for fixing that field,” said Dr. Wiles.

She says she has no idea just how much it will cost, though she promises to have it repaired by next spring. The district is hoping insurance will cover most of it, and until then, school activities will be held elsewhere.

It's unclear how much responsibility the state will take. The Department of Civil Service says they are reviewing the matter. Sunday's two sessions were canceled.

As for any future civil service exams at Farnsworth, Dr. Wiles responded, "Given the capacity that they need, I'm not sure we're the appropriate site.”

She added, “It's a tough day here in Guilderland. For our community and for our staff.”

The two sessions that were canceled Sunday have been rescheduled to this coming weekend at Albany High. For more information, visit the Department of Civil Service website: www.cs.ny.gov .

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