‘A great day for Lynnfield’

Sep 12, 2018 by

Town celebrates grand opening of LMS track and field complex

Published in the September 12, 2018 edition


LYNNFIELD — Pioneer pride was on full display as hundreds of residents celebrated the grand opening of the Lynnfield Middle School track and field complex on Sept. 9.

Lynnfield Recreation Chairman and School Committee Vice Chairman Rich Sjoberg served as the master of ceremonies during the event.

“On behalf of the Lynnfield School District and Lynnfield Recreation, we welcome you to the grand opening of this beautiful community track,” said Sjoberg. “Today is a celebration of all we have accomplished as a community at this incredible athletic complex and the fields at Lynnfield High School. Today is a great day for Lynnfield.”

A solemn tribute

The ceremony began with Mark, Carolyn and Hannah Scollard raising the American flag and Pioneer flag in honor of late U.S. Navy Ensign Evan Mark Scollard. The Scollard family raised the flag with the assistance of Evan’s uncle, retired Colonel Joseph Connell, and Veterans’ Services Officer Bruce Siegel.

LOCAL OFFICIALS presented Fields Committee Chairman Arthur Bourque (center) with a commemorative plaque during the Lynnfield Middle School track and field grand opening ceremony on Sept. 9. From left, Selectman Chris Barrett, Selectman Phil Crawford, Bourque, Selectmen Chairman Dick Dalton, Recreation Commission Chairman Rich Sjoberg and School Committee Chairman Jamie Hayman. (Dan Tomasello Photo)

“On March 24 of this year, 23-year-old United States Navy Ensign Evan Mark Scollard passed away,” said Sjoberg. “Evan was truly a son of Lynnfield and was an outstanding young man in every way. He made Lynnfield so proud serving in our armed forces and defending our freedoms. It is truly an honor for the (Scollards) to be with us today.”

After the Scollard family raised the flags, the event’s attendees gave the family a thunderous roar of applause. Lynnfield High School senior Jessica Chann sang a moving rendition of the national anthem after the Scollard family raised the flags.

Dawn of a new day

School Committee Chairman Jamie Hayman said the community “could not have asked for a more beautiful day” to celebrate the grand opening of the LMS track and field complex.

“On behalf of the School Committee and Superintendent Jane Tremblay, I want to thank Arthur Bourque for his tireless work leading the Fields Committee and serving as a de facto project manager for the track and all our new fields,” said Hayman. “I would also like to thank the Fields Committee for volunteering their time and expertise to help make this track and field a reality.”

Hayman also thanked townspeople for supporting the LMS track and field project at the April 2017 Town Meeting.

“This spring, the Lynnfield High School track and field team will experience something that no current student in the Lynnfield Public Schools has experienced: The excitement that comes with hosting a home track and field meet,” said Hayman. “With the completion of the middle school track and field, Lynnfield now has field and outdoor recreation facilities that rival any on the North Shore and are amongst the best in the state. I hope this track and all our upgraded fields serve not just as a source of recreation, but as a source of pride for the students and our community for generations to come.”

Sjoberg noted the Lynnfield Athletic Association (LAA) worked diligently to reopen the snack shack at the track complex, which includes a banner featuring the Pioneer logo.

“Thank you to each member of the LAA who worked tirelessly to reopen their second snack location here today,” said Sjoberg. “We are so proud in Lynnfield to call ourselves Pioneers. Our Pioneer logo embodies our long-standing sense of our town pride.”

Sjoberg noted the track will be home to Lynnfield Recreation’s new track program called “Kids Can Run.” Susan Parziale and Lori Mitchener will be running the new program.

“This program will offer a fun, safe and most of all an all-inclusive environment for children of all ages and abilities interested in exploring track and field,” said Sjoberg.

Parziale and Mitchener unveiled the new Pioneer logo on the side of the snack shack.

“Thank you so much Susan and Lori,” said Sjoberg. “We are looking forward to the new program this fall.”

Sjoberg welcomed current track coaches Bill Wallace, Joe DiBiase, Christine Smith and Marini Benson as well as members of the track teams to the ceremony. He also welcomed former track coach Deems Hatch to the event.

“Coaches and teams, welcome to your new home track facility,” said Sjoberg. “It’s been a long time. It’s only proper for you to have the honor in running a ceremonial first lap. Coaches take it away.”

While the track teams ran a lap around the track, the Lynnfield High School Band performed a cover of The White Stripes classic “Seven Nation Army” under the direction of LHS Band Director Harry Wagg.

“The sense of pride I feel right now watching the track teams complete that first lap is almost overwhelming,” said Sjoberg. “Congratulations and welcome home.”

Bourque efforts praised

Selectmen Chairman Dick Dalton provided some brief remarks on behalf of the Board of Selectmen.

“As you look around, I’m certain that you, like me, can’t help but have a great deal of pride in this project,” said Dalton. “And this project, like so many successful undertakings in this community, relied on volunteers. We are indeed fortunate to have so many talented people who are willing to contribute their time, effort and extraordinary skill sets to continuously improve this town that we all call home.”

Dalton thanked Bourque, Sjoberg and fellow Fields Committee members Bob Priestley, Kevin McHugh, Kyle Shinnick, Kevin Sullivan and Selectman Phil Crawford for their work in getting the LMS track complex and LHS fields complex completed.

“Not to in any way diminish the role of the other committee members, but I’m sure we can all agree that without Arthur, this project may never have happened,” said Dalton. “He acted as the project manager, putting in countless hours managing this project to a successful completion.”

Dalton noted the selectmen presented Bourque with the first annual Daniel Townsend Award for his work with getting the town-wide fields’ projects completed.

“Arthur, for all that you’ve done and continue to do, we are grateful as a community,” said Dalton.

Dalton noted the selectmen have agreed to recognize Bourque and the Fields Committee by installing a plaque at the LHS snack shack in their honor. In the meantime, Dalton presented Bourque with a plaque recognizing his dedication to the town.

Bourque thanked the selectmen, local officials and the community for supporting the LMS track and field project.

“This has never been about me,” said Bourque. “I have had as much fun doing these projects as I feel I have contributed. It has always been very rewarding to get involved.”

Bourque thanked Priestley, Shinnick, McHugh, Sullivan, Crawford and Steve Connolly for their work on the town-wide fields’ projects.

“The taxpayers of Lynnfield over the last four years have forked up $10 million to build these fields to give Lynnfield the nicest playing complexes that you will find anywhere in Massachusetts,” said Bourque. “The high school fields complex is one of the top in the country. We are very grateful to the people who stepped up and paid the money.”

Bourque encouraged the next generation of Pioneers to volunteer in town.

“These things don’t happen by accident,” said Bourque. “There is a great group of volunteers who contribute their time at Town Hall and contribute their time on the different committees whether it’s the Recreation Commission, Recreational Path Committee, Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee. I want to encourage the young parents who are here to get involved in this community because you could be standing here a few years from now trying to do something else that will benefit Lynnfield. Get involved as a volunteer. It’s very rewarding.”

Closing remarks

After Bourque concluded his remarks, he was given a round of applause. Sjoberg said he has cherished his 25-year friendship with Bourque.

“The work Arthur has done as the owners’ representative to get these fields both at the high school and at the track complex done are immeasurable,” said Sjoberg. “Without Arthur’s work, I don’t know we would be standing here today.”

Sjoberg recalled watching a recent softball game with Bourque at the renovated LMS softball field. He said Bourque was full of pride while watching the game.

“Arthur was in awe while watching the girls play,” said Sjoberg. “To watch the awe wash over Arthur was the greatest thing to see. He is a humble guy.”

In closing, Sjoberg said the opening of the LMS track complex “would not have been possible” without the “commitments and energy” of Town Administrator Rob Dolan, Assistant Town Administrator Bob Curtin, DPW Director John Tomasz, Recreation Director Julie Mallett and the LAA.

“Thank you to everyone for sharing in our excitement as well as everyone who utilizes the track and field complex today and well into the future,” said Sjoberg.

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