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Town Hall Meeting

Hi everyone.  As stakeholders in the youth sports programs in town, we thought you may be interested in the information below that we have been asked to forward regarding new athletic fields in Sharon…

There will be a Town Meeting on Monday May 2, 2016 at 7:00 PM at the Sharon High School to vote on Article 6 to approve $250,000 for the renovation of the football and baseball fields at Sharon Middle School and (ii) Article 7 to approve $506,000 to build a third field at Gavins Pond.  Those articles will secure funding to build a new field in town and start the renovation process of our overused fields.  Passing these two articles will benefit the children of Sharon from Pre-Kindergarten through High School Seniors for many years to come.  Some additional information:

 

  • The New Fields Committee was formed over two years ago to assess current field capacity and conditions, who uses the fields and when, exploring new field possibilities and identifying fields in need of major rehabilitation.  Every field in town was identified as over used and suffering from varying degrees of deferred maintenance.

 

  • The last new fields built in the town were soccer fields at Gavins Pond in the early 1990’s.  In 1990 Sharon had a population of 15,517.  In 2010 the population rose to 17,612 and is projected to rise to 19,089 by 2030.  The study that made the projection was completed before Sharon was identified as one of the best towns to live in and with our excellent school system and social diversity; Sharon will continue grow beyond typical demographic factors. 

 

  • During the past twenty years a new sport, lacrosse, was introduced and has 200 boys and girls participating.  An adult cricket club was also formed and they would like to expand to introduce a youth league but there is not enough field space.

 

  • Land to build new fields in Sharon is scarce.  Of the approximate 15,600 acres in town, roughly 40 percent or 6,700 acres are restricted use by conservation restriction, conservation easements, agricultural land, wetlands, Lake Massapoag, Borderland State Park, Moose Hill Reservation, and Mass Audubon Reservation.  The Commonwealth’s Department of Land and Forest Conservation reports that from 2002 to 2013, 1,361 acres of land has been added to the conservation rolls.  Consider that a football/lacrosse/soccer field uses about two acres of land.  We hope we can find a couple of acres to build new fields in order to meet the needs of the town; both present and future.

 

  • The benefits of youth sports are boundless for children.  According to a number of studies a strong athletic program helps students become more self-confident, learn teamwork, the value of preparation, self-esteem, goal setting, and leadership, making them better students and well prepared for challenges later in life.  Sports can also help reduce our childhood obesity issues.
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