Field process has been transparent

1

To the Editor:

I am writing to correct the unfounded accusation that the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School’s (MVRHS) utilization of Massachusetts General Law Chapter 40, Section 3, is somehow seeking to skirt the necessary review of our project to rebuild the track and athletic fields at MVRHS. Commonly referred to as the Dover Amendment, this law is routinely used to review public school projects throughout the commonwealth.

We welcome a thorough review and accompanying public discussion of our application. We fully expect to address any and all issues, from public safety to environmental concerns. MVRHS has always been a DRI (development of regional impact). By appearing before the Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC) and the Oak Bluffs planning board (OBPB), in a parallel process, we hope to incorporate any resulting provisions into our construction documents. We will also be reviewed by multiple agencies of the town of Oak Bluffs: the conservation commission, wastewater department, board of health, building department, and police and fire departments. Our hope is to begin construction this year, and ideally have a new track for the spring season.

We have been transparent throughout this process, including citing the Dover Amendment in our initial application to the OBPB and MVC. There have been years of MVRHS full and subcommittee meetings on this, always open to the public, including multiple public forums and town meetings. Our athletic fields master plan reflects years of conversation, review, and site visits to neighboring schools.  

We are excited to present Phase 1 of this multiyear project, which will finally give our student-athletes, coaches, and fans an athletic campus that is safe, accessible, and welcoming. Sixty-five percent of MVRHS students play sports. The junior high track programs rely on our track, as do many for recreational use.

We want to ensure that we are afforded the opportunity to present our plan in a fair and unbiased setting. Our kids deserve that, and so do our parents and friends who coach, carpool, support, and cheer on our Vineyarders.  

Kris O’Brien
MVRHS School Committee