Friday, April 20, 2007
Last lap for proposed athletic fields at CCHS
"We're on the home stretch" in terms of getting the proposed athletic fields passed, announced Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee (RSC) member Peter Fischelis at the April 10 meeting. Almost all the boards in Concord are in favor of the plan to construct two artificial turf playing fields and associated parking next to the Concord-Carlisle Regional High School (CCHS) in the corner of land between Route 2 and Walden Street (see diagram above.) While the land belongs to the Regional School District (RSD), it is being considered a Concord town project, scheduled to go before Concord Town Meeting voters on April 24. "I think it will be a great project, great for high school athletics and town teams," Fischelis added.
Provided the article for funding the project passes, Fischelis will coordinate with CCHS Principal Art Dulong as to when clearing of the wooded site can begin. He expects the clearing to be done over the summer and the construction and installation of the fields in the fall. The fields will be ready for the spring season. He also noted that teams in surrounding towns are already practicing because they have artificial turf fields. "It puts our teams at a disadvantage."
Fischelis went on to say, "Some folks are still fighting the project." Nancy Burnham, a Brister's Hill abutter to the RSD land, asked that the eastern-most of the two proposed new athletic fields be eliminated from the plans. The number of fields was earlier reduced from three to two, in response to abutter concerns. Burnham suggested that if the existing football field were to have artificial turf added, it would alleviate the need for the second turf field to be created. "This would save four acres of woods" said Burnham. Burnham made the point that the high school is teaching kids that deforestation is bad and yet this project would be doing just that. "Isn't that a contradiction?" Fischelis said, "We don't want to remove more than the necessary trees." A one-for-one tree replacement is expected. For each tree that is cut down for this project, a tree will be planted somewhere else. RSC member Michael Fitzgerald said that the athletic program is a priority. "We must cut down some trees. We need to use our property for our needs."
If approved by Concord voters, the RSD will lease the site, which includes roughly eight acres, to the Town of Concord. A combination of Concord's general revenues, Community Preservation Act funds and private donations has been proposed to finance the project.
© 2007 The