Mount Greylock Assistant Superintendent Joe Bergeron gets ready for the ground-breaking.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A few days before the holiday break, Mount Greylock Superintendent Jason McCandless got a jump on the festivities.
"As is always the case on this campus, there is a spirit of gratitude," McCandless said in a midday ceremony on the middle-high school campus. "And we are so grateful to so many people and so many organizations today."
And, no doubt, many of those people were grateful to see Friday come.
Community volunteers, school officials, coaches and parents gathered just to the east of the school for a ground-breaking for the $4.3 million track and field project that will be completed at the site over the next couple of years.
In some ways, Friday's event was the latest – and most joyous – stop on a long and tortuous road that began in February 2016 and included countless hours of debates and many fits and starts.
None of those dead ends were talked about on Friday. Instead, McCandless focused the attention on the people who made the project happen.
He called out Williams College, whose capital gift will go toward the bulk of the project's cost, the select boards and finance committees of member towns Lanesobrough and Williamstown for supporting the endeavor, the town meeting members in both towns who OK'd up to $800,000 in borrowing to close an anticipated funding gap, past and present members of the regional School Committee and its various subcommittees that have studied the athletic field needs over the last seven years and even William. J. Keller and Sons Construction, the general contractor that won the bid to do the actual earth moving and build an eight-lane track around a grass field suitable for varsity soccer, lacrosse and football.
Before turning things over to the Mount Greylock students who came out to put shovels in the ground to kick off the project, McCandless reminded all in attendance the debt of gratitude owed to those youngsters.
"Although you appear last on this list, on paper, you are the complete opposite of last or least in our reality, and I know I speak for all the adults here when I say this," McCandless said. "Thank you to our students and our student-athletes. Thank you for your dedication to your studies. Thank you for your dedication to your growth and the own growth of your teammates and for your discipline and your expertise. Thank you for being true to your school and for being true to one another.
"Thank you for the joy and the love that you, before we know it – except those of you graduating at the end of this year – will put on display in this very place in the years to come."
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