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School Board Member Supports Oxford High Field Project

Gerard Carbonaro believes the $3.1 million field needs to be built now.

To Whom it May Concern:

I passionately believe building the field at Oxford High School is the right thing to do for the Town of Oxford. We have been waiting five years for the high school to be completed. We encourage everyone to come out and support the field on Monday, July 9, at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

(Editor's Note: This is a list of reasons why Carbonaro believes people should support the $3.1 million field project.)

1) Cost - 9 cents a day for the average Oxford homeowner

2) We are one of only a few of the 166 high schools in CT without a field.

3) The current mud pit we play in is grossly inadequate and unsafe.

4) Many varsity and sub-varsity sports events have been cancelled, or venues changed, due to field conditions. Some teams have refused to play at our mud pit. The mud pit does not drain! The silt won't hold grass.

5) Clumps of grass/weeds have caused injuries to our players.

6) No proper stands, electricity or handicap access. Try pushing a wheelchair through the mud...

7) The new field will be a multi-use athletic facility. It will be used for football, boys and girls soccer, track & field, cross country, cheerleading, dance, marching band, youth sports, phys ed classes, graduation ceremonies and a walking track for adults and our seniors. Eventually, we will add lacrosse and girl's field hockey.

8) Night games and state tournaments will take place on the new field, generating income.

9) Artificial turf is softer, safer and nearly maintenance free.

10) The field will be a unifying force. It will assuage the sometimes harsh political climate in town and help bring our community closer together.

11) Our kids deserve the field. 50 percent of OHS students play a sport. They work so hard, without even knowing what they are doing without.

Rebuttals to concerns some people in the community have raised:

1) Town meeting versus referendum: I think the project will pass either way. Referendum would cost the town approximately $9,000. We would need 15 percent of the electorate to vote in a referendum, which is a hurdle. We could win 10-to-1 and still lose at referendum if turnout is low.

2) We are moving too fast: If we pass the field project at town meeting this summer, the OHS teams might be able to play on the field this coming school year. We have waited long enough.

3) The cost is too close to the referendum trigger: The $3.1 million cost includes cost overrun contingencies. It is below the trigger, we are playing by the rules.

4) The job will not be finished: The town has a history of not completing projects, but that will not happen here.

5) East/West versus North/South alignment. North/South is better, but cost prohibitive due to the layout of the site.

6) Track events won't take place on the field: According to OHS boys track and field coach Charlie Rizzio, he would prefer javelin to take place in the mud pit. The rest of the events would/could take place on the new field.

7) Cost: At 9 Cents a day, this project is affordable and our kids are worth every cent!

8) Other projects need to be completed: No argument, let's get them done. Economic development will bring in the funds. 

9) It's all about George's (Temple) kid: Ludicrous, political nonsense. Not even worth a response.

I'll see you all on Monday night. Happy 4th of July!

Gerard Carbonaro

Oxford Board of Education Member

Editor's Note: Carbonaro speaks for himself, not for the Board of Education.

Andy Pokladowski July 04, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Finish the High School and support the athletic field. This is not a half baked rush job as some politicians are messaging. The current field committee leveraged knowledge and lessons learned from previous efforts over the last five years to come up with the most cost effective complete proposal to date. How is that half baked ? This field / complex will be great gathering place for many events that will bring our community closer together as well as the facility our student athletes deserve and can be proud of.
Todd Romagna July 04, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Nice job of pointing out the facts Gerard. I hope that people will look at these points with clear glasses and not be mislead by the false information.
wrestling parent 1 July 04, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Thanks so much Gerard for supporting and promoting this necessary expenditure. Oxford is said to be the fastest growing CT town, and I believe it is shameful that we even have to debate the need for athletic fields at our new High School. Select the most cost effective bidder and get it done !!!!
Ed Rowland July 05, 2012 at 10:38 AM
I can understand why you feel the need for this project.I would rather see this project go to referendum when there is more information on all the financing options and all field options.This is moving way to fast.As far as economic growth to pay for the other projects in town,there has been no real economic growth because of the stagnant economy.My comments are not political in nature and I do respect other opinions.As this debate draws to a close with the up coming meeting I hope people will remember to be respectful.What ever way it goes there are systems in place meaning the town charter and the cards will fall where they will.Enjoy the day.

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