The news of the fields reduction sparked immediate concern from youth sports groups around town.
“Some parents and associations who use the fields went as far as they could trying to make (multiple fields at the site) work,” said Lisa Grecoe, president of the Bancroft Parent-Teacher Organization.
Soccer fields weren’t the only issue facing the School Building Committee. Early on in construction, the school’s beloved Dragon’s Lair playground had to be taken down. During early value management work, where items were trimmed from the project to save money, the playground was eliminated from plans in favor of the PTO raising the playground money, according to Grecoe.
“There was a huge, huge stress on the PTO to have to think of paying for a playground, which could have exceeded $130,000,” she said.
Around $100,000 of the $5.7 million the town is trying to raise will go towards building a playground, something Grecoe said she was excited to hear.
There are no current plans to add playing field space to the school, but Maria Maggio, acting director of Plant and Facilities, said adding another field on another part of the site could come up in future town plans.
“Nothing is really going to definitely happen, but it will be a town or school project once the school is completed,” Maggio said.
OCT. 10, 2008: The first public form on the project is held by the School Building Committee. Then Chairman Mark Johnson said the forum aimed to “get as much feedback as we can, early on. There are a lot of steps to be taken, but we’re moving along the grid.”
NOV. 10, 2009: The School Committee discusses the project at a meeting and discusses the possibility of building a larger school and closing Shawsheen School, a choice elementary school serving pre-school aged children and kids from kindergarten to second grade.