The Student News Site of Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School

The General Consensus

The Student News Site of Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School

The General Consensus

The Student News Site of Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School

The General Consensus

HWRHS Sports Fields: Will Construction Start This Spring?

Progress of HWRHS Sport’s Fields
The design plans for the incoming fields coming to HWRHS. The photo includes the dates that these were designed and the fields.

The field project that was first proposed almost 13 years ago is finally coming to HWRHS this spring. The new field improvement plan will provide the school with a new stadium, turf fields, and more. These changes have been debated for a long time but have finally been approved. 

The new sports fields will affect athletes, students, and the entire community. Craig Genualdo, the athletic director for Hamilton Wenham High School, states, “There is a benefit of community open space-time; for example, if you want to play pickleball or tennis, the courts are available.”

The project is projected to begin sometime this spring, but Genualdo says before it begins, “The ground needs to thaw and soften. We are at the point in the project where the final designs are just about done.”

What’s more unpredictable is when the project will end.“There are many different factors that can affect when the project is completed, but it could be done in about eight months from its start,” says Genualdo. 

On March 2, 2023, the school committee presented information about the Athletic Facilities Improvement Project. The purpose of the project is to “enhance youth and community athletic experience, build community pride and attraction, and relieve pressure on Town parks and fields.” 

Many students wonder where their upcoming spring seasons will occur because the fields will likely be under construction. 

“Boys and girls lacrosse will be at Iron Rail. Baseball will both be at Patton and Pingree Park.” Genualdo also adds, “Softball will be at Pingree Park.” 

On February 12, the fields at Hamilton Wenham suffered from the recent rain that passed through the town. The turf fields wouldn’t allow the rain to do as much damage. (Charlotte Maunsell)

Lali Sarvendram, a current freshman who played on the Varsity Softball team last year, says, “After the rain, there were always holes and puddles that we would have to avoid.” She also adds, “We had to play at Black Field a couple of times because the fields were unusable.”

The new fields are supposed to fix the conditions of the prior fields. The turf will make the fields availiable to use sooner after it rains. 

While there are fields nearby that can be substituted for the time being, the track is more challenging. Genualdo reports, “We  are talking about sharing Ipswich High School track with them, and all meets will be away.”

These disruptions will be an issue during the spring and fall seasons; however, Genualdo has been working on addressing these challenges to improve athletic facilities.

A lot of students participate in sports at Hamilton Wenham, “Over seventy percent of Hamilton-Wenham students participated in at least one sport,” the school committee presentation states. 

These fields will benefit not only the athletic program at Hamilton Wenham but also the gym classes that take place during the day. 

“We have a budget of 15 million,” Genualdo said. 

However, there are offsets. According to the presentation, there could potentially be “$5,648,000 in funds and donations.” 

Although most in the town support the field plan, there are also objections. Salem News states, “Hamilton approved it by a vote of 304-92, while Wenham approved it by a vote of 218-89, according to the towns.”

The small number of objections is not unknown, though. Genualdo says, “The voices of the opposition are pretty loud and pretty adamant.” 

Some community members have concerns about how the lights of the fields will impact the neighbors day to day life after sunset.

The school committee is working with the community to resolve this issue in the most beneficial way possible.

Until the plans have been finalized, bids have been made, and a company has been selected, an exact date is uncertain. The district is optimistic and hopes to have the fields under construction by spring 2024.

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About the Contributor
Charlotte Maunsell, Student Journalist
Charlotte Maunsell is a freshman at Hamilton Wenham Regional High School. Charlotte likes to write, so she thought this would be a fun opportunity to learn more about the writing world. In Charlotte’s free time, she loves to play volleyball, ski, and hang out with her friends.

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