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Sports field proposal to appear on Windham ballot

WINDHAM — Local recreation officials are hoping voters will approve a $180,000 bond for a new sports field.

The multipurpose Windham sports field, to be used for football, lacrosse, soccer and other activities, is being proposed for a 22-acre parcel of donated land in the Spruce Pond neighborhood off Route 28.

Additional funds, materials and volunteer labor for the $275,000 project, which includes a sprinkler system pump house, water storage tank and parking area, would be provided by various area companies, according to Dennis Senibaldi, a member of the Recreation Committee and School Board.

During a public hearing held during Monday night’s meeting of the Windham Board of Selectmen, the proposed warrant item was discussed in detail, with the board voting in favor of placing it on the March ballot.

A similar item put forward by citizens petition failed at the 2012 Town Meeting, with 738 voters favoring the article and 2,077 rejecting it.

This week, both Senibaldi and Recreation Director Cheryl Haas said space for town recreation events is now at a premium, as over a thousand local youths participate in Windham’s football, soccer and lacrosse programs.

Haas said the new field is in keeping with the town’s current recreation master plan, which recommends additional public sporting space.

“It would give us the additional space we need,” Haas said, noting that the town’s football league, the Windham Wolverines, continues to grow, as does the town’s lacrosse program.

“Right now, we’re at full capacity,” she added. “So having more practice space will help us a lot.”

If the item passes at the March polls, the goal is to have the field open in time for the coming fall sports season, with plenty of room for potential future expansions.

Further details on the warrant articles, including the estimated tax impacts, will be further debated at the deliberative session next month.

Windham’s town deliberative session will take place Feb. 8. Town meeting voting is on March 11.

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