MVRHS athletic fields public forum moved to PAC tonight

In this file photo, Vineyard football players sprint across the high school track field. – MV Times file photo

A public forum on the proposed materials to be used on the sporting fields at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, scheduled for tonight at 5 pm in the high school library, has been moved to the Performing Arts Center.

Representatives from the community-organized group MV@Play, along with consultants from Gale Associates, will be available to answer questions at the forum. MV@Play was organized for the purpose of updating the athletic facilities in the community.

The group is recommending using natural grass on the baseball and softball fields and synthetic turf on the four multi-sport fields at the high school. The discussion will address the safety and quality of synthetic turf fields, along with the physical and financial plans for updating the fields and facilities.

“Over the past ten years the Vineyard’s youth sports programs have grown dramatically and the various sports are faced with more athletes than our present fields can handle,” the group said in a mission statement. “The existing fields on the Island are overplayed which makes them at times unsafe and most are not regulation size to begin with.”

The scope of the project would include a new track and field facility with turf infield, a new regulation baseball field, three new soccer fields, two new regulation softball fields, varsity game football field, new volleyball court, sports medicine trainers facility, locker rooms, public bathrooms, storage and maintenance building, and a parking and infrastructure re-design.

Currently, the total estimated cost is $12 million, and the group hopes to finance the project entirely by private funding.

“Our vision is to have one centrally located, safe facility that could handle all the community needs,” the mission statement said. “When this project is completed it will have the largest impact on the Vineyard youth of any project done to date.  We estimate this campus will safely provide for over 1,100 island youth athletes per year, as well as adult leagues, summer programs and tournaments.”