Easthampton is looking to build a new school for elementary students, but they might have to demolish a recently updated football field in order to do it.
When Easthampton was faced with decrepit elementary schools more than 100 years old, they decided they needed a new state of the art K-8 school and they would build it on the site of the field.
But they didn’t always plan on that.
“Originally we had every intention of situating the school on the property to keep the existing school function and stay away from the football field,” said Tom Brown of the school building committee.
But the cost of that was an additional $2.7 million, so the school building committee decided to move the football field, a field the town and private money had put more than $300,000 into just two years ago.
“Saving $2.7 million would look at again encroaching on the football field, but relocating the field on the property after the school is completed and we can build a brand new state-of-the-art football field for probably slightly under $2 million, so it seemed more practical for us to do that.”
The school committee hopes a new school would positively impact school choice, with the idea that more kids will stay in Easthampton for school, but at the cost of demolishing a new field.
“We are also very very conscious of the needs of the football program and we will work very closely with the front association with the school athletic director to do whatever we can to minimize the impact of the football program.”
Tom Brown told Western Mass News that he hopes that the end result of an even better school and field for less taxpayer dollars will convince people that this is a good idea.
Even the football booster club that pays to maintain the field.
The friends of Easthampton football will have a meeting on this tonight.
Copyright 2017 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.