Water on Spinelli Field

Spinelli Field after a rainfall.

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BENNINGTON — The Spinelli Field Ad-Hoc Committee will meet Thursday night to discuss next steps for plans to improve Mount Anthony Union High School’s running track and main athletic playing field.

The committee will meet in person at 6 p.m. at the MAU High School Library. The meeting will also be held on Zoom at bit.ly/ 3xCgzaF.

Earlier this month, committee chairman Mike Molloy told the Mount Anthony Union School District Board of Directors that the panel would hold a meeting to hear the community’s input, after a recent vote that turned down a proposed $3.5 million bond issue that would have paid for the improvements.

Opposition centered on the cost and concerns about whether synthetic turf might contain PFAS chemicals. Proponents said the turf field would reduce maintenance costs and open up use of the field to more sports and school groups, and that the new track would serve the entire community.

Some opponents of the proposal said they still want to see improvements to the facility — but at a lower cost, and without a synthetic surface.

“We’re looking to move forward with the project in a different way,” Molloy told the board earlier this month. “It won’t be the same, but we’re looking to hear what everyone has to say and put another proposal out in the near future, hopefully.”

The proposal called for a widened, synthetic turf field to replace the existing uneven, poorly drained natural grass field; a rebuilt running track, replacing the current uneven surface; a storage and ticket building with accessible bathrooms, taking the place of a condemned building on the premises; and energy-efficient lighting replacing the current incandescent floodlights.

Greg Sukiennik has worked at all three Vermont News & Media newspapers and was their managing editor from 2017-19. He previously worked for ESPN.com, for the AP in Boston, and at The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, Mass.


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