A new initiative to help raise money for the rehabilitation of the track and field at Wellesley High School is now underway. The effort is part of a public-private partnership with the Town of Wellesley to fund a project to widen the existing field, install synthetic turf in order to expand the utilization capacity of the existing field and replace the existing track, which is in very poor condition.
The Wellesley Field Fund: This is Our Turf has started and will be ongoing through March 2016 with the goal of raising $900k from Wellesley residents and local businesses, which will go toward the creation of the new turf field and track. The design of the project will begin this July, and the goal is to have the construction of the new field and track completed by September 2016.
The current field is the most underutilized active recreation field in town due to its fragile condition and small size. Because of the small field size and/or field condition limitations, it is unsuitable for football practices, WHS lacrosse games, and WHS soccer and field hockey games and practices. The track is very near the end of its useful life.
“There are approximately 700 high school students and another 3,000 middle school and younger children who participate in track & field, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey and football. Unfortunately, many of these students are unable to use the current field due to the size limitation and durability issues,” said Tripp Sheehan, chairman of the Playing Fields Task Force. “The level of usage of the track and active recreation fields in Wellesley by school athletics, as well as youth and adult programs, continues to increase while the condition of the track and grass fields in town continue to deteriorate. Rehabilitating the track and field will help meet the growing demand for usable field space; benefit a broad segment of the Wellesley community; provide a high quality, central location for many high school sports; and serve as a focal point in the community.”
The total cost of the rehabilitation project is expected to be $2.5M. The Playing Field Task Force expects to return to the Community Preservation Commission and the Town for the 2016 Annual Town Meeting to seek appropriations for two thirds of the construction funds. The remaining one third (or $900K) will come from fundraising efforts from the Wellesley community.
“We are asking Wellesley residents and businesses in town to help fund this project which will ultimately benefit Wellesley residents of all ages for years to come,” continued Sheehan.
Any donation made toward the turf field and track is tax deductible. Please go to www.wellesleyfieldfund.com for more information on types of donations and details. In addition, a Wellesley Field Fund Facebook page has been launched.
Residents Mike McGreal and Lisa Wesley are heading up the fundraising efforts.
For more information: