Three Island companies — Contemporary Landscapes Martha’s Vineyard, John Keene Excavation, and Carroll’s Trucking — offered to repair the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) game field with in-kind services. The school will just need to cover the costs of the sod.
Principal Sara Dingledy said there has been discussion about how to fix an area that experienced a “drop-off” between the football and soccer portions of the field. “We discussed it as a corrective issue in 2017, and so this is a long history of just discussing how we could fix it,” she said. High school committee member Michael Watts described the drop as “significant.”
Contemporary Landscapes co-owner Caleb Nicholson, who is also an assistant football coach at the high school, went over the proposal. “Basically, the process is we’ve got to remove the existing turf, we’ve got to strip the soils, stockpile the soils in position, bring in the good, clean sandy subsoil to regrade, so we have a good-draining soil below it, and then basically rake all of the soils back out, and we need to resod it,” he said.
Nicholson said the companies want to donate labor and equipment. The only compensation they asked for was the cost of the sod. Nicholson said the improvements shouldn’t cost the school any more than $12,000.
“If it did, Jack [D’Arcy], myself, and John [Keene] would take over any of the additional costs, because we want this to get done for the safety of the student athletes on this field,” Nicholson said. “I know from past experience … a lot of kids have gotten hurt on that sideline, and it’s just something that really needs to be taken care of, and we want to make sure this happens for the kids.”
The plan is to do the work on the weekend of June 3, when students would not be on the field. This also gives time for the sod to acclimate to the area. The area to be worked is 325 feet long and 50 feet wide.
MVRHS finance director Suzanne Cioffi said the school had the capacity to cover the $12,000 “as is.” After some discussion, committee member Kathryn Shertzer asked if the school could cover up to $15,000 for the sod. “I’m asking because I feel like they’re giving us so much that I don’t really feel like they should have out-of-pocket costs,” Shertzer said. Cioffi said that should be doable.
Committee chair Robert Lionette said the facilities subcommittee should monitor costs to avoid financial overruns that the companies may need to cover.
Martha’s Vineyard Public Schools business administrator Mark Friedman said there is a “procurement element” to the sod cost coverage, since it is over $10,000, but he was “confident” that the project could go forward.
The committee unanimously approved accepting the donation, and to cover up to $15,000 in sod costs, thanking the companies for their generosity.