Upgrades coming to SAD 4 athletic fields

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GUILFORD — Improvements will be made to the athletic fields used by Piscataquis Community High School and Piscataquis Community Elementary School. The school board approved using up to $50,000 from the minor capital improvement fund for the track and surrounding field renovations and is working with the town of Guilford on projects to upgrade the baseball diamond on the municipal athletic field and softball field on the school campus.

“When the building and grounds and transportation committees met we talked about doing the tile out there and the paving,” Superintendent Kelly MacFadyen said during an Aug. 13 school board meeting in the PCHS cafeteria. She also said a project to resurface the PCHS gym will start before classes and continue into the school year.

“As we looked at where we want to go next, we talked about the track,” she said. “That’s been an issue for some soccer players because when they run off the field it’s slippery.” The superintendent said the track around the pitch also has cracks and holes.

SAD 4 could save some money if the district combines with Guilford by pooling the athletic facility upgrades, MacFadyen said. She said those involved hope to have some different options to consider.

She said the baseball “backstop/fence is in terrible shape and is in need of repair” with the town sending out requests for proposals. The superintendent said last season umpires mentioned the condition of the backstop, which SAD 4 officials believe may date to the 1940s and is a little too far back from homeplate.

“While we are doing that we have also included the softball field,” MacFadyen said. Mentioning some fixes to this backstop a stone’s throw from PCHS she said, “The dugouts need guards so foul balls don’t hurt anyone.”

MacFadyen said SAD 4 and Guilford could split the baseball field upgrades 50/50 and could have reduced costs with the softball diamond improvements included in the larger scope of work.

She said track improvements could range from $28,000 to $32,000. “The rest of it would be the fencing,” the superintendent said. MacFadyen said the up to $50,000 is part of the current budget.

“The paving will be completed Friday,” MacFadyen said about the resurfacing of Campus Drive being done prior to when students return at the end of the month.

She said the sign by the intersection with Route 150 is rotted beyond repair so it will need to be replaced. “We could duplicate it but it would not be that sign,” MacFadyen said, saying a new sign could be placed elsewhere on Campus Drive.

In her board report, PCES Principal Anita Wright said Mayo Regional Hospital received a grant for refillable water bottle stations and the school is one recipient. Wright said Maintenance Director Mike Dexter picked up the unit and is installing it. She said remaining grant funds should fund enough clear, refillable water bottles for each student.

“Steinke & Caruso Dental Care (of Dover-Foxcroft) has donated enough money this year again to sponsor a classroom, we gave that to our new first grade teacher,” Wright said.

She said the $200 is for additional classroom library books. Wright said students read these books very quickly so numerous titles are needed.

Board Chair Niki Fortier mentioned that each director should have a list of the PCHS Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2019 inductees — a ceremony will take place in the fall.

The new Pirate hall of famers are Travis McKenney as an athlete, coach Paul Stearns, athlete and coach Trisha Moulton, Herring Brothers Meats as a contributor and the 1985 Class C champion boys soccer team.

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