FUTURE TRACK STAR Tori Card, age 15-months, tries out the new Lynnfield Middle School track for the first time on July 20. (Dan Tomasello Photo)

Published in the July 25, 2018 edition.


LYNNFIELD — The track is open.

After an extensive construction project that took longer than local officials hoped, the town officially opened the Lynnfield Middle School track and fields complex on Wednesday, July 18.

“It’s a first-class facility which should serve us well for the foreseeable future,” wrote Fields Committee Chairman Arthur Bourque in a Facebook post.

While Bourque said, “there is a small amount of fence work and follow-up construction to be done,” he said “the facility is substantially complete.”

The Board of Selectmen praised the new LMS track and fields complex during last week’s meeting. Selectman Phil Crawford thanked Bourque for helping get the new track and field complex completed.

“I want to send our thanks on behalf of the town to Arthur Bourque,” said Crawford. “He oversaw the whole project. It got delayed in the fall, but I have got to say that is a first-class facility there. I don’t think we are going to have to worry about not having a home track meet for a couple of decades. I want to thank Arthur for his dedication and hard work.”

Selectmen Chairman Dick Dalton agreed.

“I hope people will respect what has been done down there,” said Dalton. “It’s a beautiful track and the whole layout is just gorgeous.”

Selectman Chris Barrett echoed his fellow selectmen’s sentiments on his Facebook page.

“Thank you to the leadership of Arthur Bourque, Lynnfield DPW Director John Tomasz and all involved who helped make this great project a possibility,” Barrett wrote. “A big thank you to Town Meeting for once again generously supporting the very best recreational opportunities for all residents to enjoy. I look forward to watching the Lynnfield Pioneer track teams dominating on their new track and field. Go Pioneers!”

Superintendent Jane Tremblay said the LMS track and field complex is a welcome addition to the town.

“It’s absolutely extraordinary and really finishes off the fields project,” said Tremblay in a phone interview. “It’s nice to be able to finally have home meets for the high school track teams. I am really happy for track coaches Bill Wallace, Joe DiBiase, Christine Smith, Marini Benson and Adam Dell’Aria. It’s a great facility for members of the community who like to walk and run.”

School Committee Chairman Jamie Hayman agreed.

“I am very excited for opening of the new track and field complex at LMS, as it is a great asset to the schools and the broader community,” said Hayman in an email. “With the completion of this phase of the project, Lynnfield’s athletic fields and outdoor recreation facilities continue to become some of the best on the North Shore. I want to thank the community for funding the project at Town Meeting and Arthur Bourque for overseeing the entire fields project.” 

School Committee Vice Chairman and Recreation Commission Chairman Rich Sjoberg called the new track “simply stunning” in a Facebook post.

“Thank you to everyone involved in bringing this to fruition, with special thanks to Arthur for his continued project oversight and dedication,” wrote Sjoberg. “Arthur continues to inspire my favorite quote of Winston Churchill: ‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.’ We feel so fortunate to live in a place that valued the need for a new track and field complex, which will not just benefit Lynnfield students but will promote wellness for the entire community.”

The Recreation Commission engaged in preliminary discussions about holding a grand opening ceremony in September last week. No plans have been finalized.

Boys’ track assistant coach Joe DiBiase noted it’s been six years since the LHS track teams have hosted a meet. He’s thrilled the track has been completed and home meets will be returning to town next spring.

“We are very excited about the new track,” said DiBiase. “I’m grateful to the town, residents, selectmen, etc. for getting this done. We had so much success in the 1990s and early 2000s on the track. It will be great to get our teams back on a new track.”

Ford Avenue resident Teri Card walked the track with her 15-month-old daughter Tori on June 20.

“They did a wonderful job,” said Teri.

Bourque said residents cannot use wheeled vehicles such as bicycles on the track’s surface because they can “do damage to the track.” He said hard cleats are prohibited as well.

“We have a maintenance plan in place that will hopefully keep this a first-class facility, but it requires the help of all users to ensure that we use it the way it is intended for walking and running,” said Bourque.

Dalton said he hopes the town will install signs indicating that people can’t ride bicycles or use wheeled vehicles on the track.

“The track is made for walking and running,” said Dalton.

Bourque thanked Tomasz, who said he “has done a great job of getting this facility built and will be responsible for the field and track maintenance.”

Town Meeting voted to allocate $2.25 million for the track and fields project in April 2017. While Bourque and local officials hoped to have the project completed last fall, a wet spring delayed the contractor from installing the polyurethane surface.

“Thanks to the people of Lynnfield that funded this facility,” said Bourque.