Updated April 27
The facilities subcommittee of the Martha’s Vineyard Regional School Committee this week considered a list of questions for Gale Associates, a former consultant, on plans to construct a new track at the high school.
Subcommittee member Kris O’Brien will prioritize and highlight questions in advance of a proposed visit by Gale to the Island early next month. The request to pay a stipend to Gale for the onetime consulting needs approval from the MVRHS Committee.
Subcommittee members and MVRHS staff earlier this week submitted two-plus pages of questions for the track builder related to costs, usage, and data, and experience the company might have related to grass and synthetic playing fields.
Gale had submitted a proposal described by athletic director Mark McCarthy as ”90 percent complete” last year, before a cascade of often contentious debate on grass vs. synthetic stalled the track effort. McCarthy told the subcommittee on Tuesday that about 350 different people use the high school fields in fall and spring.
The tenor of the questions and of subcommittee discussion on Tuesday indicates that grass vs. synthetic turf will surface again as the school committee pursues its plan to construct a new track separate from plans to rehabilitate or build a new high school.
Member Robert Lionette said the questions should focus on financial aspects of a new track. “It’s premature to get into cultural and environmental aspects at this point,” he said. The subcommittee agreed to meet weekly on Tuesday at 8 am at the high school, and School Superintendent Matt D’Andrea suggested that all subcommittee meetings be videotaped going forward, at a cost of $70 per meeting.
Updated to correct the number of people who use the field. -Ed.