By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – Dignitaries, alumni and students took part in a ceremonial groundbreaking May 24 for new turf fields at St. John’s High School Pioneer Field on Main Street in Shrewsbury.
The town of Shrewsbury approved the Turf Athletic Fields Project in April and fundraising for the $2.8 million needed has begun and will happen in three phases.
Headmaster Alex Zequeira opened the program by welcoming faculty, students, members of the school’s Board of Trustees and distinguished guests, notably, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito whose son will be attending St. John’s in the fall. Additionally, State Rep. Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury), Shrewsbury Selectman Beth Casavant and Assistant Town Manager Kristin Las were in attendance.
An opening prayer was given by Brother Robert Flaherty, C.F.X and Julian Rivera, class of 2019, followed by remarks from trustee, Ret. Col. A. Russell Pytko, United States Marine Corps., and a member of St. John’s class of 1944.
“This total project has complete support from the Board of Trustees and we realize that it is a necessary investment that will pay great dividends in the future,” Pytko said.
Student Activities Council President Jack Fenlon, class of 2019, gave a student address and said that this project is one that students and athletes have been looking forward to.
“These fields are going to contribute to zealous Friday and Saturday nights and when the lights go on, St. John’s will be the place to be. The student body is extremely excited for all of these nights to come and it is thanks to the continued generosity of all our benefactors that we get to say once again – It’s a proud day to be a Pioneer.”
School Chaplain Father Jose Rodriquez gave a blessing of the fields, students, their families and workers and that the fields be a place to grow strong in body and spirit.
“It’s an exciting day,” Zequeira said. “St. John’s is truly surrounded by a spirit of gratitude.”