To the Editor:
We are heartened to know we are not alone. Thank you to the four school committee members who voted no.
Thank you to IGI, Mass Audubon, VCS, M.V. Environmental Educators Alliance, community leaders, coaches, parents, and alumni athletes who expressed their concern about MVRHS’s choice to pursue plastic.
The MVRHS committee received the 93-page Huntress report on Friday, publishing it to the MVRHS website Saturday, for a Monday vote, providing no time for community input regarding this $16.9M project.
The report did not offer a grass option. Wasn’t a side-by-side comparison the whole point?
The report states, “The most common discussion with all user groups was their desire to see a synthetic turf surface at the high school.” Anyone following the three-year debate knows that all user groups do not. If this is intended to be a “community campus,” this assumption is mystifying.
Everyone agrees field conditions need to be addressed immediately. The vote for plastic slows the process. The town of Oak Bluffs and MVC now have to consider the impacts of the controversial surface in addition to the new track location, etc.
The math to justify plastic is manipulated. Huntress’ formula for calculating usage is not reflective of reality. Are the minikickers really going to have a 2.5-hour practice, or impact a field as much as a football game?
Phase One doesn’t fix the remaining fields. Meanwhile, the cost of one plastic infield, $1M-plus, could pay for the full renovation of all the fields.
Shouldn’t this plan be considered in coordination with the $100M-plus MVRHS renovation?
The vote for a plastic field was a vote for climate change denial. There is nothing “green” about a two-acre, greenhouse-gas-emitting, superheated plastic carpet.
We trust that the town of Oak Bluffs and MVC will be more measured, weighing all aspects of this critical decision.
Mollie Doyle, Dardanella Slavin, and Rebekah Thomson
The Field Fund