Proposal Shot Down

January 4, 2018

The Salem (N.H.) School Board recently decided not to request millions of dollars In funds to replace an athletic field that is in “deplorable” condition.

According to the Eagle-Tribune, the board had been considering replacing the athletic fields, as well as the ticket office, restrooms, media booth, and bleachers near Salem High School for the past month.

"The majority of the 40-to-40-yard field you see is weeds," Scott Insinga, Athletic Director, said. 

The district had allotted $500,000 toward the project and had received some donations and grants, but found that the project would take roughly $3.6 million more. Many voters spoke out against paying millions for the fields, and some threatened to withhold support for the district's budget for next year.

"I think we would be taking a great risk to include a bond article or ask the voters to approve a warrant article to replace the field at this time," Michael Delahanty, Superintendent, said. 

Michael J. Carney Jr., said that the district would be best off avoiding “going to the well too often,” especially since it will likely have to renovate Woodbury Middle School in two to three years. In 2014, voters approved a $75 million project to renovate Salem High School, which did not include the athletic fields.

"In hindsight, maybe we were all in error by not including track and field and ancillary area around it in our bond," Pamela Berry, a member of the board, said. "It does not negate the fact that the field and track are in deplorable condition and need to be replaced." 

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