Field House entrance photo realistic rendering (1).jpg

A 74,000-square-foot field house was proposed for Dana M. Thompson Memorial Park, but the plan was pulled after a lack of support.

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Will of the people heard on regional field house

Those of us involved in the promotion of a regional field house were, of course, disappointed in the vote saying “no” to the concept. We believed deeply in the opportunity it could have provided for the people who live and work here. We also knew it was ambitious, complicated and could easily be misunderstood. Nevertheless, we thought it was worth a try. We put it out there for an advisory vote to gauge interest. Those who voted said no.

Our sense is that there are a number of reasons people said no: It was large, it seemed expensive, the financing and the governance structure were complicated, it required a huge leap of faith that towns could act regionally, people were worried about ongoing costs, and it didn’t have a pool. We tried our best to engage in discussion about those issues, but COVID made it almost impossible to get in front of people to have true dialogue. Interestingly, when we were able to speak and answer questions in towns with traditional floor meetings, we received a positive response.

However, at this time, we must respect the will of those who voted.

We continue to believe the area is poised to rebrand itself as a place of health, fitness and social well-being. That is why the Right Track Foundation has funded the perimeter path at the Rec Park, helped fund the skateboard park, helped fund the Rail Trail, helped fund the two new soccer fields at the Rec Park and why we pledged $3.5 million for the proposed field house. We care about this community and have tried to help make things better for the people who live and work here.

Regardless of whether you were a yes or a no, thank your for participating in the process. And, to those who didn’t participate, please don’t pass up your next opportunity to vote, no matter what the issue. This is what democracy is about and why people are fighting and dying in Ukraine.

Bill and Linda Drunsic

on behalf of the Right Track Foundation

Manchester

April 6


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