Athletic fields to be renovated and repositioned


Credit: Duncan Stephenson

Pictured above is the WHS turf and stadium. The School Committee recently voted to delay a referendum on Stage One of the proposal until the next

Duncan Stephenson

According to Wayland High School athletic director Heath Rollins, a plan is in place to either replace, or re-shuffle every athletic field at Wayland High School except for “The Rock,” and the wetland field.

“The track is at the end of its useful life, the turf is approaching that timetable quickly, I think we have bleachers and a press box that have reached the end of their useful lives as well,” Rollins said. “The tennis courts are also in poor condition. So this is really of the essence.”

The renovations are broken up into three phases.

Phase one would replace the turf field, the track, the bleachers, the press box, the field lights, and possibly add a new concession stand.

In phase two, the tennis courts and the softball field would swap locations. This is mainly because of an issue with the drinking well that is located by the current location of the tennis courts.

“That’s the conservation’s main push: they want all the water to absorb down, not to run off,” Rollins said. “Moving the tennis courts out of the zone of the well means that rainwater will no longer float on top, but go down into the ground. We’ve got to avoid putting any hard surfaces, like driveways or tennis courts, in that 500 foot buffer zone around the drinking well.”

During phase three, the JV baseball field would be moved and the varsity field would be rotated. This adjustments would create a larger area of open grass around both fields.

The plan will be proposed at Wayland Town Meeting next fall, where the townspeople will vote whether or not to allocate the necessary funds for the various renovations.

“This isn’t a cheap project. This is something that we have to get everyone onboard with… We’d love to do it as one big project and bang it out over six months. Having all the contractors here at once would make it go quicker and make it a little cheaper,” Rollins said. “But if they give us the money allotted over three years, we’ll make that happen too.”

The estimated cost of phase one is $3.5 – $4.0 million, while phase two is $1.7 – $2.2 million, and phase three is $1.2 – $1.8 million.

Rollins said that if the renovations were passed at Wayland Town Meeting, he would do his best to make the transition as easy as possible for teams using the fields at the High School.

“We’d stage it so that there would be as minimal effect as possible on teams here at the High School. But, there will have to be some moving around, some fires to put out, and some problems to solve,” Rollins said.