Town meeting grants funds to improve baseball field, track

By: Andrea Bilton, Matthew Jillett, and Peter Palmer

An important town meeting was held on October 10th to decide whether Hanover High would receive funding needed to make repairs to several sports fields. The school has done very well at staying on top of things; whether it be dealing with the computers being down, leaky ceilings, or broken desks, we have gotten around these problems. But for some issues, we need help through funding. The town Advisory Board was offering a $65,000 allocation from the operating budget to repair recreational fields at HHS. About $12,000 of the funding would fix the throwing area on the track and field to meet new MIAA standards, a requirement for HHS to continue hosting home track meets. An additional $8,000 would fund netting around the baseball fields and tennis courts so both sports could be played safely at the same time. In addition to the funding from Advisory Board, town meeting was also considering whether to approve $800,000 for athletic improvements across the district.

Several town members in the crowd argued against giving the schools the funding. One man asked, “What is the $65,000 going towards?” Town Manager Troy Clark, asked by the moderator of the meeting to respond, said, “The money is for minor improvements, netting, etc., as well as looking into more possible improvements.” Others in the audience were also questioning how repairs were needed so soon after the new high school was built. Some felt their tax dollars were going to waste fixing a brand new school.

The chairman of the school building committee, Chris Martin, had a great deal of information for the crowd relating to the problems dealing with the school and how they would go about fixing them. “After the school was built, sports were the next thing to worry about,” Martin told the crowd. “Modifications are continuing to be made, and when the new athletic director was hired, money went toward getting whatever she needed.”

Martin continued to list other issues that are going on around the school such as the need for more bleachers on the turf field. If they were to build more bleachers they would have to build a bigger bathroom to hold more toilets. In the long run it would have cost too much money. They also had ideas of building a press box but would have to install an elevator to avoid lawsuits about handicapped accessibility, and that would have cost $200,o0o.

At the end of the meeting, the town meeting approved the $65,000 from the Advisory Board but denied the $800,000.  The $65,000 will be enough to make the necessary repairs to the baseball field and track, and study future improvements.

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