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Letter: High School Fields Plan Making Progress

The proposed $3 million project will take place in three phases over a three to four year period and is expected to be funded privately.

Editor's Note: Jim Byrnes, spokesman for the D-S Boosters said that there have been limited talks between the Boosters and CPARC and that as of now both initiatives are scheluded to go forward as separate projects. He did however say the communication lines will be kept open and the focus will remain on best interests of the community.

The following was provided by Jim Byrnes, spokesman for the D-S Boosters.

A plan to improve the Dover-Sherborn High School (DSHS) athletic campus to alleviate problems of overuse of the fields was approved by the DS Regional School Committee this past January, and is moving forward. 

Huntress Associates is now under contract to complete the design details and assist in the selection of contractors to reconstruct the middle and high school athletic fields and tennis courts. The goal of the plan is to develop new synthetic turf fields to better meet the needs of the athletes in our community. 

“I am very excited to see the project start to have some traction after all of the planning that has been done,” said Heath Rollins, DSHS Athletic Director. 

“Overuse of the fields can lead to many costly issues,” he said. “When the project is complete, the new fields will satisfy all foreseen high school field needs and should provide more than 80 hours per week of additional field time for community youth sports.”

Sports are an integral part of the Dover-Sherborn community, and demand for fields is increasing with both youth and adult sports.

Currently, 82% of DSHS students participate in athletics including 27 sports and 43 teams.  The ten outdoor fields handle approximately 2,387 team events and 894 high school team athletes each year.  

Forty percent of the fields exceed “maximum use” criteria by 20% causing undue deterioration, and the cost to maintain them is significant and growing.  

Installing synthetic turf fields will improve safety, reduce “rain outs,” allow for additional sporting events/uses by both the school and community youth programs, provide additional space for practices and games, provide options for building community spirit (pep rallies, camps, etc.), and allow DS teams to be more competitive by training on turf.

The proposed $3 million project will take place in three phases over a three to four year period. 

Fundraising to cover the project costs is already underway. It is expected that all funding will come from private parties. 

Phase I includes replacing the current grass stadium field with synthetic turf, repairing the drainage system for the track, and regrading Booster Field #3 and if enough money is raised, replacing the Junction Street field with synthetic turf. 

Phase II includes moving the current four tennis courts and building two new ones, improving the baseball/softball fields, and reconstructing the Junction Street field if this is not done in Phase I. 

Phase III includes the creation of two new multi-purpose grass fields on Farm Street and enhancing walkways, netting, and other upgrades. 

Current funding goals are to raise one-third of the project costs by the end of 2012 in order to complete the first turf field by the end of September 2013.

For more information visit www.DSBoosters.com or email Jim@DFCashmere.com.

pokerboy May 04, 2012 at 09:52 PM
God bless the D/S Boosters.
anonymous 2 May 06, 2012 at 11:36 AM
Nobody seems to mention that this plan appears to eliminate a softall field.
Frank Perlmutter May 07, 2012 at 11:50 AM
it might not be clear on the drawing provided but the plan calls for a relocation of the softball field - the current JV field will get several upgrades and has a better sun orientation. It also has irrigation to keep the outfield grass in better condition and less dust on the infield. A new JV field will be build on the Junction Street field. No fields are being eliminated in this plan - some are being relocated.

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