Supt. Martineau talks ARHS athletic complex next steps

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Supt. Martineau talks ARHS athletic complex next steps
Renderings of the ARHS athletic complex project stand outside of Northborough’s Town Meeting in 2022. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

NORTHBOROUGH – After votes of approval at Northborough and Southborough Town Meetings, the Public Schools of Northborough and Southborough leaders are looking ahead to the next steps for the athletic complex at Algonquin Regional High School.

“The district is grateful for the overwhelming support shown by the communities of Northborough and Southborough during their respective annual Town Meetings,” said Superintendent Greg Martineau. “We were particularly heartened by the vocal support of the students whose passion and enthusiasm were instrumental in leading the charge for this much-needed project.”

The discussion about Algonquin’s athletic complex dates back a decade. The Regional School Committee voted to allocate funds for the project in mid-March, and the Planning Board approved site plans for the project March 7.

Martineau and other district staff and coaches have talked about the state of the high school’s athletic complex — the track is unusable for track meets, the fields are compacted, the lighting system doesn’t meet safety standards and the tennis courts need to be replaced.

The project, called the “Gonkplex,” is estimated to cost $7.9 million. It calls for an artificial turf stadium field, an artificial turf multipurpose field, a new track, new tennis courts and the addition of pickleball and basketball courts. Additionally, the grandstand will be Americans With Disabilities Act-compliant and an amphitheater will be constructed.

“Given the state of the complex, this level of renovation is essential to create a safe and conducive complex for our students,” Martineau said. “We are excited about the next steps of this project, as we work towards building a complex that will be a source of pride for all members of our communities.”

As of early May, the regional school district was in the process of finalizing its contract with the contractor and determining a construction timeline for the project as well as logistics.

After this is complete, Martineau said the district planned to reconvene its Athletic Complex Building Committee to discuss the next steps of the project and explore opportunities for participation.

In a schedule from November, the district was anticipating that construction would last about 16 weeks, kicking off in early June.

“We are hopeful that, with a successful summer of construction, we will be ready to use portions of the complex by the end of October,” Martineau said.

However, he said the district wanted to be realistic. If the timeline for the project is adjusted, Martineau said it would be communicated with the School Committee and community.

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