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Sports Teams and Senior Center Construction?

What will happen to the sports teams at Ward Park during the construction of the new $7 million Senior Center at Ward Park?

Some of our readers have been wondering what will happen to sports teams during construction of the proposed $7 million Senior Center at Ward Park.

The construction of a new $7 million senior center at Ward Park will displace some sports teams, but Mayor Arthur Vigeant has said he will work with these programs.

"I intend on working with these programs to develop short and long term solutions to this problem," said the mayor in a communication to the City Council on Monday.

The new location offers many benefits to the senior population, including access to the park and downtown, he said. Along with the development of the senior center will be additional work on the park with "the eventual goal of making significant improvements to the infrastructure and recreational field space at Ward Park," said the mayor.

The location of the new senior center has been one of the most discussed aspects of the project, said Mayor Vigeant.

Dom November 29, 2012 at 01:49 PM
There needs to be a better location for the proposed building. I do not like the idea of taking away so much open public space. Why not do something about all the empty buildings around Marlborough instead?
01752 November 29, 2012 at 04:11 PM
What about the youth football and cheer program that uses Ward Park as their practice space?
Damon Michaels November 29, 2012 at 04:57 PM
What about some infrastructure improvements? For instance the horrible roads.
resident December 02, 2012 at 03:08 PM
I read somewhere they're going to move the football program because after building the center there wont be enough room for them at the park. Which is interesting because under Massachusetts General Law the city is required to "maintain at least one public playground conveniently located and of suitable size and equipment, for the recreation and physical education of the minors of such city or town". Ward Park meets all these requirements. It's legal designation is "Playground" not "Park", it is conveniently located for sure, that's why they choose taking it's land for the Senior Center. By moving the football program it is clear that they feel it would no longer be "of suitable size". I wonder why Marlborough can use the land and not be in violation of state law? Maybe they've received some kind of wavier or something?
Concerned Mom December 03, 2012 at 05:03 AM
Resident...they will say Ghiloni Park meets those requirements...but soccer pretty much uses those fields all fall and spring..when they are even in shape to use. Marlboro is limited with the number of fields as is...never mind the terrible shape most of them are in. To take away Ward Park even if its only during construction would be a shame. I heard the option of using neighborhood fields more often....Simpson, Milham, etc....have any city officials taken a look at those fields lately? Are they planning on putting bathroom facilities at those fields not just outhouses? The football/cheer program practices for 2+ hour stretches....I really think the City council is so quick to please the seniors for political gain that they are losing sight as to the effect this would really have on our youth in ALL sports programs. Yes I agree we need something for the seniors but spending almost 8m and displacing youth sports irresponsible. Before the city moves forward I feel they should share the plan on how they are going to "work" with the sports programs...not having these conversations and band aid solutions After they break ground.
resident December 03, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Concerned Mom, .>they will say Ghiloni Park meets those requirements< I don't know if I'd agree with them. The legal requirement is for the city to maintain a "playground" conveniently located and of suitable size. State law makes a legal difference between park and playground. If Ghiloni is truly designated as a park then it can't meet the playground requirement. But maybe it is also a "playground" who knows? Nobody is giving a chance to ask. I wouldn't call Ghiloni convenient, certainly not as convenient as Ward Park (which is designated a "playground") especially to downtown. Finally I would argue that Ward Park would no longer fit the "suitable size" requirement after putting up a 13,000 sq foot two story building. It seems to me a legal area that could rightly be challenged.
resident December 03, 2012 at 05:37 PM
As you say, it would be a shame to take away a portion of Ward Park. I feel the spirit of the state laws are to ensure a playground (or park) remain in use as a playground for future generations of the City's youth and that Cities shouldn't be allowed to encroach on this land for other purposes. >I really think the City council is so quick to please the seniors for political gain that they are losing sight as to the effect this would really have on our youth in ALL sports programs. < Well put. Not to mention the affect it would have on the small and residential area surrounding the park. I would encourage people to contact the city council and ask them just to slow down a bit. Take time to consider all these concerns before spending $500,000 of our money. Email the council at citycouncil@marlborough-ma.gov >Before the city moves forward I feel they should share the plan on how they are going to "work" with the sports programs< Yes! And also how they would "work" with the neighbors to ensure quality of life issues like traffic, noise, and parking, before, during and after construction. I can't believe they are rushing this through without any discussion with residents!
Concerned Mom December 03, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Resident - I agree with you and encourage you and any friends who feel the same to write to the city council and Mayor about these concerns.
resident December 03, 2012 at 08:09 PM
I hear there is a City Council meeting tonight at 8:00 where it's possible they will will final approval to fund the first $500,000 and move the Mayor's idea forward. If anyone wants to even just slow this down for a bit they should write citycouncil@marlborough-ma.gov today to ask them to postpone the vote.
resident January 24, 2013 at 08:03 PM
There's an online petition to stop the taking of Ward Park land. Go to www.savewardpark.com to learn more and sign.

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