Athletic Complex- THIS IRKS ME!

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Athletic Complex- THIS IRKS ME!

Postby swamper on Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:02 am

I know this article is from November but I just saw it and it irks me!

From the Lowell Sun:

Tewksbury track field nears homestretch
By Katie Lannan,
Updated: 11/20/2013 05:23:27 AM EST

TEWKSBURY -- The turf has been laid out though not yet finally set in place, and a new track surface is ready to follow in the spring, the next steps in enhancing the new athletic complex at Tewksbury Memorial High School.

"It's been three years of hard work for us to get to this point, and it's finally coming together," said Paul Hibner, treasurer of the resident group Friends of the Tewksbury Community Athletic Complex.

On Monday, the group presented to the town a check for a portion of the turf costs.

Annual Town Meeting in May approved the use of $600,000 in Community Preservation Act funds for the field, and a state grant will provide another $250,000.

"We were trying to raise private capital beyond that, so we gave them the first $50,000 of that (Monday), and we're going to keep raising more beyond that," Hibner said.

Donors can purchase engraved bricks, ranging from $125 to $1,000, through the Friends' website at The bricks will be installed near the complex entrance and concessions stand.

Signs around the fence will also be sold. Naming rights could be available as well, though Hibner said no one has yet expressed interest in that level of sponsorship.

Fundraising efforts also include participation in TD Bank's affinity program, which gives nonprofits an annual donation based on bank accounts held or opened by people affiliated with the group.

During halftime of a playoff football game between the Tewksbury Redmen and the Somerville Highlanders earlier this month, Scott Johnson, the store manager at the 995 Main Street TD Bank location, presented the Friends with a check for $6,508.65.

That donation brought the total given by the bank to $15,171 over the course of two years for athletic-field development and maintenance. In total, the Friends group has raised around $70,000.

Once the turf is fully funded and installed, Friends of the Tewksbury Community Athletic Complex still wants to see additional enhancements to the field.

Hibner said the group would like to expand the seating from the complex's current 500 capacity to at least 1,000 to 1,200, which would also require additional restroom facilities.

The group envisions the addition of lighting at some point as well, which Hibner said would cost between $200,000 to $250,000. Right now, the unlit field means games can only be played during the day.

"I don't think that'll happen in a year or two years at this point," Hibner said. "The other thing that we did, there were a lot of folks that were averse to the buildup of a large sports complex at the high school, so we decided we would take baby steps."

The group will talk with members of the community and work with them as it pursues its plans, Hibner said. To prepare for a night football game against Haverhill last month, when the Redmen Football Club rented lights for the evening, Hibner said meetings were held with abutters, time limits were set for the lights and some nearby streets were closed to outside traffic.

Attended by around 800 people, that game was the first night game in town history, put on in part to show the impact of a lighted field.

"It was significant," Hibner said. "We sold out. At the snack shack, we ran out of burgers and other things. We ran out of money to even give change at the ticket booth, so we were just letting people in."

Read more: ... z2phBf5qyV

It's bad enough that CPA funds were used for this in the first place which I was against but due to new provisions in the guidelines they were able to finagle it. But THEN, as people asked these EXACT questions before the vote at that Town Mtg. to appropriate the funding.... WE WERE TOLD BY THE TOWN MANAGER that there were NO PLANS TO ADD LIGHTING.... PERIOD!!! NOW they're calling for expanded seating and restrooms PLUS lighting and have the NERVE to call it taking 'BABY STEPS' just because it is going to be phased in over three years and that is supposed to make it more palatable to ALL THOSE RESIDENTS who overwhelmingly VOTED NO AT THE POLLS back when this was originally proposed? I never trusted them that 'enough would be enough' and KNEW they would just end up justifying more to get what they wanted to begin with! This is an outrage and a slap in the face to the residents! I feel badly for those in the surrounding pre-existing residential neighborhood who have been ignored or at best 'placated' with empty promises of NO LIGHTING.
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Re: Athletic Complex- THIS IRKS ME!

Postby splice on Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:11 pm

Gov't will tell you what to do. It started on the Federal level and has trickled down to local gov't. At least we can vote them out at the local level, maybe. At the State and Federal level it looks lost.
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Re: Athletic Complex- THIS IRKS ME!

Postby Little Willie on Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:29 pm

Time to repeal this private pocketbook account called the CPA tax what steps are needed to put this pork barrel program back on the ballot to repeal it??
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Re: Athletic Complex- THIS IRKS ME!

Postby Baxter on Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:59 pm

Splice, it's worse than that. They will outright lie to get what they want. That's why we now have Obamacare.
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Re: Athletic Complex- THIS IRKS ME!

Postby Clorox on Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:50 pm

notice that our football team won the championship WITHOUT a turf field, more bleachers and restrooms or night lights...........what the hell is all of this development for?
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Re: Athletic Complex- THIS IRKS ME!

Postby swamper on Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:40 am

Just to be clear, I am NOT faulting/blaming the CPA funding for this (just don't happen to agree with using it for this particular project). IMO the CPA is one of the best and worthwhile positive benefits that exist in this Town and has already done good things with many more in the pipeline. When an overwhelming NO vote at the polls wasn't enough to stop them, I truly believe the FOTAC with Redmen backing would have pushed for/achieved this regardless, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER. My beef is these additional 'amenities' that they swore up and down they had NO INTENTION of doing, proclaiming such right up to and ASKED OUTRIGHT ON TOWN MEETING FLOOR before the vote, they are now reneging on. More LIES. To have the NERVE to say it will be phased in over 2 to 3 years so 'things can be worked out with the community residents' is both an INSULT and the ultimate joke....unfortunately ON US and the surrounding residential neighborhood soon enough to be of 'Friday night lights.'
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