Five years after Oxford High School opened to students, the school will finally get an athletic complex.
The plans fell in place tonight when Oxford voters approved a $3.1 million proposal by a vote of 1,321 to 820. About 25% of voters turned out for the referendum today at the lone polling station at .
"All along they said, 'Let the people speak.' Well the people have spoken. Now it's time to go on to building our field," said Selectman Jeff Haney.
A ceremonial groundbreaking is expected to take place on Monday.
The proposal includes a synthetic turf field where students could play football, soccer or possibly lacrosse and field hockey one day if the school gets the two latter sports. The field will be surrounded by an eight-lane track. The proposal includes bleachers, lights and a press box. It does not include a field house or a concession stand.
The field will be constructed across the street from the pool and diagonal from the softball and baseball fields. All told, the project will take about four months, said Jim Galligan, town engineer.
The turf will be under warranty for 10 years, though officials say they expect it will last about 14 or 15 years.
The town will pay for the project through a 20-year bond, which would add about .16 mills to the tax rate. Jim Hliva, the town’s finance director, said that equates to an increase of about $35 a year in taxes for the average taxpayer as the town could get a low interest rate, between 2 percent and 2.5 percent a year, on the bond.
Haney, the driving force behind the most recent field proposal, told Patch last month that he firmly believed a majority of residents support the plan.
“The time is right,” he said. “Interest rates are low, this needs to get done. If not now, when?...I just look at these facilities that we have for our kids, and they are not adequate,” he said. “Our track team doesn’t have a track. Our cross country team doesn’t have a course. Our football team (and soccer teams) plays in mud and the fields get flooded."