Shrewsbury talks future athletic facilities projects

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The entrance to the football fields at Shrewsbury High Schools. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

SHREWSBURY – Shrewsbury High School (SHS) athletic leaders have identified a series of potential improvements, ranging from replacing the school’s press box to improvements to the baseball and softball fields.

“We had some major damage and issues with our press box,” Director of Athletics Jay Costa told the School Committee last month. 

This discussion of improvements was part of a report on Shrewsbury’s athletic programs presented by Costa and SHS Principal Todd Bazydlo.

The process of replacing the press box is estimated to cost $250,000, according to Costa.

That’s substantially lower than a $500,000 assessment generated by engineers about three years ago. 

“I think we could go to more of a [prefabricated] type [of] press box that is more user friendly than the one that we have now, which brings the cost down,” Costa said.

Costa identified several projects for the future, including adding more storage near the school’s stadium for equipment and adding fencing and netting around the lower soccer fields. He also noted the possible addition of screen protectors around the tennis courts. 

He continued, discussing improvements to the fences, dugouts and storage facilities at the high school’s baseball and softball fields. 

“We’re very grateful for the booster organization and the students raising money. They were able to fix and repair the infields of the baseball and softball fields, which made a major difference in our playing ability,” Costa said.

Work on the dugouts is estimated to cost between $30,000 and $40,000 per field, he estimated.

Other considerations included establishing boys and girls soccer at the middle school level and reviewing and implementing a five-year strategic plan to replace shells and equipment for the SHS crew team. 

Costa said that Shrewsbury High School is the second largest public school in Central Massachusetts behind Wachusett Regional High School.

“If you look at both Wachusett Regional, Shrewsbury High School and even Algonquin Regional High School and you look at our athletic programs, we’re built more like a Division Three college with the offerings that we’re providing for our students,” Costa said.

As the school grows, he suggested looking into either full-time or part-time athletic trainers, particularly at events at the middle school level as football programs expand. 

Costa also suggested more coverage from either an assistant athletic director or seasonal site supervisor position, who could help with crowd control and other needs during games.

“It would not surprise me if some time in the not too distant future that we try to have another capital campaign to continue to improve the facilities,” Superintendent Joseph Sawyer said after the presentation. 

He said some of the other elements – like the human resources – are part of the budget process.