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Contractors are hoping to complete work on athletic fields at the Country School before Thanksgiving. (Photo courtesy of Teresa Sullivan )
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With winter setting an end date for many local construction projects, The Country School, a private pre-school through 8th grade facility, is on track to finish its outdoor athletics and recreation complex in the nick of time.
The project, which broke ground in June, is expected to be completed by the Thanksgiving holiday, according to Country School Director of Development David Beecher.
“The original idea was to have it done around the first of November,” he said. “That is not going to happen, but we will be done with everything before Thanksgiving with the one exception of the top coat of the tennis courts. It is best to save that for the spring and the warmer weather.”
The new complex will include two side-by-side soccer and lacrosse fields with an overlapping baseball/softball diamond, four tennis courts, an outdoor basketball court, a full playground, and a centrally located gazebo viewing area.
“This is the first phase of a two phase plan and capital campaign to redesign the outdoor component of campus,” said Beecher. “Next summer we hope to redo all of our walkways and driveways and parking areas to improve safety.”
Beecher said the improvements are a part of larger school improvement campaign.
“This actually is part of a larger campus master plan that was put in place 10 years ago and then put on hold,” he said. “This is the completion of part of a plan that has been hanging around for a long time.”
The new facilities will double the number of athletic fields and dramatically increase the size of the playground.
“We have expanded the footprint of the school into a wooded area,” he said “We cut and cleared a number of trees for this expansion.”
Beecher said the school was environmentally conscious when considering this plan.
“We are doubling the number of trees that we cut down with replacement trees both here on campus and around the town of Madison,” he said. “We have been working with the town to find other locations to plant trees as well.”
The project is also currently well within budget, Beecher said. Phase 1 of the projects estimated total cost is $800,000.
“We have raised funds and we are continuing to raise funds moving into Phase 2,” he said. “We have about $1.2 million in funds raised so we have more than covered Phase 1 and we have a little bit of a head start for next summer.”
Beecher also spoke very highly about the town’s involvement in the project.
“Town engineer Mike Ott has been a key player and we cannot say enough good things about Mike’s help on this project,” he said. “It has been just a great model of what can happen in public private partnerships.”