The high school was in jeopardy of losing its New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) accreditation, in part, due to the state of our fields. We wouldn’t be allowed to host sporting events. We had already lost the Special Olympics. My team worked on a plan for a new field complex. The public hearing for the proposed $3.3 million dollar, taxpayer-funded, sports complex was standing room only as parents, coaches, alumnus, residents, all came out to speak in favor of the project. The vote in the city council to approve the funds was unanimous.
To keep costs down, we had planned to oversee the project ourselves. Myself and Budget Director, Barry Lacasse, were on-site that entire summer, directly managing the stadium construction. The project was completed on time for the start of school with just a punch list of clean-up tasks remaining.
But there was still the issue with the Concession Stands. State mandates required that 21 bathrooms to be built. That brought the price tag higher than people wanted. My administration set to work to come up with a plan. We would build it entirely with volunteers, bringing the price tag down to $600,000 which we funded through a $300,000 grant we received from the L. G. Balfour Foundation, a $200,000 grant from the NFL Grassroots Foundation and $100,000 in donations from businesses and individuals.
It was a tremendous group effort that resulted in a much-needed facility as well as a renewed sense of community and Blue Pride. These initiatives remain a favorite in my time as Mayor of Attleboro.
Construction of Attleboro High track, field complex to start Saturday
BY GEORGE W. RHODES SUN CHRONICLE STAFF Jun 6, 2013
Attention shifts to concession stand, restrooms at Attleboro High field complex
BY GEORGE W. RHODES SUN CHRONICLE STAFF Sep 27, 2013
Attleboro High School dedicates track to veteran teacher, coach Steve Newman
BY DAVID CARTY SUN CHRONICLE STAFF May 3, 2014