A Closer Look at Proposed Funding for Foxborough’s Turf Field Project

Here’s a breakdown of how Phase I of the proposed community turf field will be funded if approved at the Dec. 11 Special Town Meeting.

When voters review the proposed community turf field project at the Dec. 11 Special Town Meeting they will be deciding whether or not to appropriate $125,000 from the town’s Overlay Surplus account and use the remaining $1 million from the high school renovation project to help fund the $1,619,000 of the project.

"Basically, we are looking at $430,000 between donations, in-kind services and the NFL grant," said Foxborough Schools Business Manager Bill Yukna. "We are looking at $1 million that is the current balance of the high school renovation project, which the town has already funded and appropriated."

Furthermore, Foxborough's School Committee voted its Nov. 26 meeting to appropriate $75,000 from the school’s building revolving account to help fund the project, leaving $125,000 needed to reach the $1,619,000 required to fund Phase I of the project.

That's where the town's overlay surplus comes in.

"Every year we are required by state law to reserve a portion of taxation for two things: tax exemptions and we are required to obtain an amount to cover any abatements people apply for with regards to adjustments to their taxes," said Foxborough Chief Financial Officer Randy Scollins. "We are required annually to reduce how much we make available for budgets by this overlay amount. Typically for us it runs about $440,000 – half of that for exemptions and half of that for overlay.

"As time moves on we settle tax cases and the amounts that are left by the overlay can be released by the Board of Assessors and appropriated at Town Meeting.

"Typically we have scraped out overlay each year if we felt there was enough in there to still cover any risks that we had or tax cases. We’ve released it to cover capital items or the once-in-every-three-year cost of the tri-annual revaluation work, which is assessing work.

"It is a traditional funding source for either capital or operational sources."

If voters choose to appropriate $125,000 from the town's Overlay Surplus at the Dec. 11 Special Town Meeting, Scollins said the account would have approximately $150,000 remaining.

Phase I of the proposed project – Article 6 of December's Special Town Meeting Warrant – includes removal of baseball field, benches, backstop, etc. at current location of Foxborough High School; Installation of synthetic turf surface, football goal posts, sports lighting, electrical distribution, inner fence and scoreboard; Installation of baseball and softball fields behind Foxborough High School.

Phase II of the proposed turf field is part of the project’s master plan, which includes an outdoor track around the turf field, bleachers, press box, concession stand and bathrooms. The cost of Phase II would be $1,827,608. Voters will not be voting on Phase II of the project at the Dec. 11 Special Town Meeting as there is currently no funding options for the master plan portion of the project.

“[Phase II] is more of master planning at this point,” DeVellis said. “It hasn’t gone beyond concept.”

The proposed turf field complex – Phase I and II – would total 3,446,608. However, voters can approve Phase I of the project on Dec. 11 without committing to Phase II.

"Phase I is still a big benefit to the community," Yukna said. ... "Even if Phase II doesn’t happen, Phase I does provide ample amount of additional field time and gives our kids the opportunity to play on a turf field and practice on a turf field."

Yukna and Scollins reviewed three funding options for the proposed turf field project before settling on the one detailed below.

"We think this is a doable plan but as the School Committee said loudly [on Nov. 26 with a vote to appropriate $75,000 to the project]," Yukna said. "With this article going forward, we will be asking for $125,000 at Town Meeting for the overlay surplus."

Here’s a look at the proposed funding sources for Phase I of the turf field project and a breakdown in Phase I costs as provided by the Turf’s Up Committee.

Proposed Funding Sources for Phase I

  • TurfsUp NFL Grant: $200,000
  • TurfsUp Community Fundraising: $60,000
  • Tree Tech Tree Removal Donation: $20,000
  • TurfsUp Engineering Donation: $139,000
  • High School Renovation Bond Proceed balance: $1,000,000
  • School Department Building Use Revolver account: $75,000
  • *Appropriation from Overlay Surplus account $125,000 (Appropriation of $125,000 requires vote of approval at Dec. 11 Special Town Meeting)

Phase I Costs

Synthetic Turf Field

  • Remove baseball field, benches, backstop, etc.: $4,000
  • Remove fence: $1,398
  • Remove and stockpile topsoil: $6,500
  • Erosion/sediment control: $6,500
  • Earthwork and dispose: $67,600
  • Synthetic turf surface: $498,750
  • 18” gravel base: $59,052
  • Inner fence (4’): $42,406
  • Football goal posts: $10,000
  • Drainage and stormwater management: $100,000
  • Electrical distribution: $20,000
  • Sports lighting: $140,000
  • Scoreboard: (Community donation)
  • Subtotal: $956,206

Baseball and Softball Fields (Located behind Foxborough High School)

  • Clear and grub: $44,800
  • Erosion Control: $5,000
  • Strip topsoil: $16,714
  • Earthwork cut and fill: $108,416
  • Baseball backstop: $25,000
  • Player bench: $2,400
  • 6’ chain link dugout fence: $4,740
  • Baseball infield mix: $30,000
  • 4’ chain link fence: $7,800
  • Softball backstop: $18,000
  • Softball bench: $2,400
  • Softball infield mix: $29,000
  • Baseball bleachers on pad: $36,000
  • Respread loam and augment: $54,204
  • Seed mix: $45,980
  • 12” base gravel parking area: $8,000
  • Phase I Total Labor and Materials Projection: $1,394,660
  • Civil Engineering & Permitting (10 percent): $139,000
  • Contingency 6 percent: $85,340
  • Phase I Total: $1,619,000

Here’s a look at projected costs for Phase II of the turf field project - track, bleachers and improvements:


  • Tree removal: $2,000
  • Remove and stockpile topsoil: $7,962
  • Erosion/sediment control: $5,000
  • Earthwork: $55,974
  • Synthetic track surface: $472,000
  • 12” gravel base: $66,808
  • Concrete walk and plaza: $80,000
  • Outer fence (6’): $78,280
  • Aluminum bleachers: $412,500
  • Drainage and stormwater management: $100,000
  • Water utilities: $20,000
  • Landscape and site furnishings: $50,000
  • Press box: $75,000
  • Concession stand: $75,000
  • Bathrooms: $75,000
  • Total labor and materials: $1,575,524
  • Contingency (6 percent): $94,531
  • Civil engineering & permitting (10 percent): $157,552
  • Total Phase II Cost: $1,827,608
  • Total combined cost Phase I and II: $3,446,608

The proposed project has received overwhelming support from the Foxborough School Committee, split support by the Board of Selectmen and little support from the Advisory Committee.

Will residents support the project? That answer is expected to come on Dec. 11.

"We are not the ones making the judgment here," Yukna said. "We are giving the community the offer."

Steve C December 03, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Anyone that has been to the town center, town hall, or elementary schools and still believes this town has a "surplus" account that is available for use on a Turf field is obviously delusional. Lets all take a moment and think about our priorities within the town and stop putting money towards things we can not afford. The grant and donations aside this project is not feasible financially and is a long term fiscal issue. Where is the maintenance plan for this project moving forward? What will this cost us annually to maintain? What departments budget will the funds be allocated from? There are to many unanswered questions for this project. Our town has a failing infrastructure, a town common/center that attracts no commerce, and an elementary school system that is outdated and in need of repair. I will reserve my town hall comments for another discussion. Lets work on reducing the towns collective debt before we go spending millions of dollars on a Turf field. I will be at the meeting to vote against this proposal.
Janet Sroczynski December 03, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Interesting - please keep us all posted. For additional Athletic Turf Fields, please see/read or visit: http://www.oliverames.org OA-Oliver Ames High School http://www.stonehill.edu Stonehill College and the W.B.Mason Football Stadium Both Oliver Ames High School and Stonehill College have Turf Fields.
George December 03, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Janet, Just what was your purpose in addressing these websites. It was a waste of my time and did totally nothing to inform about turf fields.
Janet Kennedy December 03, 2012 at 07:15 PM
To me this is a want. It is not a need. If people really want it they should do more fund raising. Also people get hurt a lot of these types of fields. Foxboro needs to fix water and sewage first.
Steve December 03, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Foxboro is doing just fine with water and sewer, thank you. NO need to expand sewer in Foxboro that has been explained to me. When you say the turf field is a want and not a need you are only half correct. Anyone that is familiar with the fields schedules in Foxboro will tell you point blank- We do not have enough fields. This is a fact not an opinion. Whether or not a new field is turf or not is a question that needs to be answered.
Janet Kennedy December 03, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Steve sorry disagree with you. The water and sewage needs to be address. Do you like dirty water.? I do not. Foxboro does have enough fields. If people want it do more fund raising. It cost to maintain plus the insurance cost.
Ken B. December 04, 2012 at 01:20 AM
The fact of the matter is that putting the turf field at the current HS baseball field, does NOT create an "additional" field in town.
Steve December 04, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Janet I do not have dirty water and for those parts of town that do their needs are being met with the new facility on Oak St. I don't have a problem with maintaining or improving our drinking water, I do have a problem with this continuous sewer expansion. How do you make a statement like "Foxboro does have enough fields"?? What is "enough" in your opinion?? In the unanimous opinions of every sporting team in town there are NOT enough fields. Maybe you should talk to our Recreation Director for some clarity in this area.
Steve December 04, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Ken, do the math. When you move the baseball field behind the High School (and a softball field) and then build the turf field you just added a field. I'm not saying this is the best way to do it but in the end you do add a field. A field that can be used by most, if not all of the sports (and the band).Do people realize that the field at the Ahern (that the HS football plays on) sits empty all summer because it needs to recuperate from the beating it takes all fall??
Janet Sroczynski December 04, 2012 at 02:56 PM
@George - sorry you feel that way. A short drive over to North Easton and you can get get out of your car and talk to some of us about these Turf Fields. Get yourself educated; see how our residents and taxpayers, athletes and coaching staff feels about these types of fields. Then look at costs and so forth. The information was meant to be helpful.
Teri December 04, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Beat me to the punch on the impact of ongoing maintenance and potential "need" for phase II. Eliminating the ongoing support/maint costs from the budget impact is just irresponsible. Additionally; I have an issue with the $1M being considered as no impact to the residents. We need this money for other things - infrastructure/road repairs (mechanic street is embarrassing and the entry point to our town), sewer, water, and hey....how about some give back on all the property tax increases???
Steve C December 04, 2012 at 03:36 PM
My concern isn't if we need a new field. It is how do we pay for a new field. If you need a new car but can not afford one, Do you buy one anyway? I have two young sons in this town and certainly want the best facilities for them. I just don't want to continue paying for resources that we can not afford to pay for. When the town releases the budget for this project, along with annual maintenance costs, I will be more open to the idea of a Turf field. It would be great to have a Turf field for our town sports, band, and other programs but at what cost to the residents? Should be build a Town Hall, a Turf Field, expand the school system, provided raises to municipal employees. Of course we should, but, not without a feasibility plan in place that is fiscally responsible, and based on a 1-5-10 year plan.
Brian December 04, 2012 at 03:38 PM
It absoluely does Ken. Please take a look at the plans.
Steve C December 04, 2012 at 03:43 PM
"DeVellis believes sewer is the single most important issue the town is currently facing because without it there is no future growth in downtown Foxborough." As quoted from a different article on Patch. Steve you are incorrect with your assessment of the town Sewer. The infrastructure is outdated and failing. It can not support development or expansion.
Brian December 04, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Thank you for sharing Janet. Sorry people think you wasted their time. What we are seeing now that the hype is settling is simple.. . a turf field is safe, it is planned in the right place, it is "affordable" when comparing the cost and benefits of such a project and in perspective it will not cripple our town nor will it be a solution to all of our community woes. Sewer, downtown, cats & dogs .... same argument for at least 10 years and meanwhile all other towns have kept up. Times are a changing folks and our kids are not playing on our fathers fields any more. Have you been outside at any college or HS? All other towns have figured it our. The real question here is can we afford NOT to do this. Lets say thank you and move on please and get this built.
Steve December 04, 2012 at 04:30 PM
@Steve C-I understand that is Mr. Devellis’ position on sewer and sewer expansion, I don’t happen to agree with it. Or should I say that I do not agree that the residents of this town should pay for what is clearly a commercial need. Sewer is not stopping the downtown from being developed; rather it is the expansions at Chestnut Green and Patriot Place that have accomplished this. I keep hearing that if we expand our sewer capacity we will have this great expansion, well where is it?? Where is the business or the developer that is saying I will do X Y and Z if only there was more flow?? You don’t hear it because it does not exist. I, for one, do not want the downtown to expand. I wish some of the empty spaces would open up with some nice retail shops, sewer is not stopping this. Can you imagine what traffic would be like if there was a big expansion in downtown??? I don’t want to live in Mansfield where it takes 15 minutes to drive thru town.
Janet Sroczynski December 04, 2012 at 05:42 PM
@Brian - you are welcome for the info & input, hope it helps. Read through the article online from the Easton Journal by Paula Vogler @email: writedesk84@comcast.net and 1.508.967.3510 from her August 20,2009 article entitled: "Oliver Ames High School gets back on track with new track and field complex." Available at: http://www.wickedlocal.com/easton. Google a search for the article, it will pop up. It provides a glimpse into how the field was financially paid for, and it may help a few people in your community decide in what direction to go in. Not everyone in our town supported paying for a new Turf Field either, for many of the same concerns that Foxboro residents have. Hence the private financing, donations etc.-came into play to raise the money. After it was built, paid for, etc.-then came the Restrictions on it's use. So please keep that in mind too, when considering.
Ken B. December 05, 2012 at 12:06 AM
To do a full build out on the current baseball field with a future track, stands, concessions and lights, you are taking the baseball field, field hockey field and the football practice field. I question if the footprint of the final build-out with track and all, will actually even fit there without impacting the tennis courts.
Brian December 05, 2012 at 01:26 PM
@ken B. - I asked the same questions because my son plays tennis and they showed me the engineering plans. It fits and does not impact our courts. The plan was masterplanned nicely. If you ask the school they will share the plans with you. I am excited because the band will actually have a place to practice early in the morning rather than in the parking lot in and around the cars ! Rediculous situation right now.
Steve December 05, 2012 at 01:40 PM
I agree I do not think this is the "best" location for the field. I think it will be to disruptive to the whole area. Behind the High School is the best location if they could figure out the traffic and parking. This whole thing seems rushed just to save the $200,000 NFL grant and to "legally" use the surplus money from the HS project. I feel the urgency from the proponents as they feel this is this last best effort...but is it???
Dennis Naughton December 07, 2012 at 02:40 AM
Suggestion: The New England Council of Schools and Colleges visited and evaluated Foxborough High School March 25-28, 2012. Subsequently, they wrote a comprehensive evaluative report. The entire 87 page report is available on the Foxborough High School website. While there was a mention of playing fields (see p. 75, 78, 82-83, 87 for anything relating to the fields of any subsance), it was hardly a priority, and would have no impact on the accreditation of FHS for at least 2022, when the next decennial NEASC evaluation is due--despite claims in letters to the Foxboro Reporter editor today. Read the report and get the facts. Money is needed to meet NEASC recommendations, but to apply the current money to the fields hardly addresses the NEASC recommendation priorities--never mind the current needs of the Town.


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