Wayland School Committee postpones articles on turf fields

While the referendum has been moved, the construction schedule has not been


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

The Wayland School Committee agreed on Monday, April 2 to withdraw its articles on the new turf fields and postpone them to the fall town meeting. Chair of the school committee, Ellen Grieco, confirmed that this motion does not affect the timeline of the project itself, which will start in spring of 2019 as planned.

“We got the money at fall town meeting in November, which gave us a very limited amount of time to do the design work and we knew that at the time, [we knew] it was going to be a very tight schedule,” Grieco said.

The head of overseeing the construction project, the Permanent Municipal Building Committee (PMBC), had originally attempted to present this article at the Wayland Town Meeting held on April 2, 2018. PMBC changed the voting date because the five million dollars being asked for would not be enough to put the project into action.

“We couldn’t be certain that we could do the project the way it needs to be done within the 5 million dollars, and the reason for that is that the code requires bathrooms, and we didn’t have a plan for bathrooms or the budget for bathrooms at the time,” Grieco said.

Another bump in the road that prevented the article from being presented was the concern over the design layout. Parts of the design would have required going into Happy Hollow West–an environmentally protected area. This made the design process more difficult to work through in time for the town meeting.

“The so-called ‘swap,’ the tennis [court] and softball [field] swap, isn’t really a problem, but because we have to move the stadium a little to do the swap, you can’t do part A without doing part B,” Grieco said.

The main issue that led to the article being delayed was the environmental issue with the new sports field being so close to the aqueduct and Happy Hollow West.

“The second thing is that they don’t feel they have an adequate assessment of what would be required to protect the aqueduct and Happy Hollow West and that’s a priority of the town in these construction projects,” Grieco said. “PMBC wanted to make sure they had enough money to make sure that they would do the right thing in that area, and they [weren’t] sure the $5 million would cover it.”