Groundbreaking Ceremony Held to Commemorate Start of MHS Fields Project
On the morning of Saturday, March 28, about 100 people gathered in the cold in the stadium at Methacton High School together to mark the historic ceremonial groundbreaking for the Methacton High School Fields Improvement Project.Superintendent Dr. David Zerbe welcomed the assembled guests and noted the groundbreaking, "...a moment that some have waited nearly 20 years for."Dr. Zerbe explained " So this morning, we celebrate the start of our long awaited future – a future where our student athletes can compete safely, where our band and color guard can practice and compete safely, and where our community has come full circle in making Methacton not only a recognizably attractive academic institution, but a future athletic, arts, and Music destination for young families. "The project, which will include a synthetic turf stadium field, a synthetic turf multipurpose field, and two new grass softball fields among other improvements, began in March of 2015. It is anticipated that the project will reach substantial completion in time for use in the 2015-2016 school year.Excitement is building among the students who look forward to playing and attending events held on the new fields, and several were in attendance not only to participate in the groundbreaking, but to make remarks on behalf of their classmates. MHS junior Sarah Sterchak, spoke about the pride that she feels, "This new addition to Methacton will properly display how great a school we truly are. Yes, these fields will be highly appreciated by the student athletes here at Methacton, but I also believe they will bring a great camaraderie to the community. This brotherhood is what can define a school and the entire district."MHS junior Nick Rossi articulated his anticipation of playing before the home crowd, "Not only do the athletes benefit from the new facilities, but more students [will] be drawn to the games."Since its inception, the project has been defined in part based on its ability to contribute to a sense of community and Methacton Pride. The Warrior Pride Capital Campaign was developed to foster this sense of community partnership, and in order to raise funds to support the Board's goal to fund the project with a combination of public and private funds. Members of the Warrior Pride Capital Campaign's leadership team were on hand to help break ground, and honorary chair Larry Smith's daughter, Lauren Rieger read a letter from her father to help mark the occasion.School Board President S. Christian Nascimento spoke to the Board's gratitude for the support that donors have shown, noting, "This project is only possible through the public partnership that we have developed, and we must of course thank our generous major donors that have helped make this special day possible: Our Honorary Chairman Larry Smith; The J.P. Mascaro & Sons company; John Nielson and family; and The Philadelphia Eagles. Winston Churchill once said that, 'We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.' These generous individuals and organizations are an embodiment of that idea, and we are blessed to have them in our community, and as role models to our students."As noted by Mr. Nascimento, The Philadelphia Eagles organization has been among the supporters of the field project, and the team's mascot, "Swoop," was on hand to add some additional excitement to the event, along with MHS's own Warrior mascot. School pride was on display throughout the event, as an ensemble of MHS student musicians, directed by MHS teacher and band director Bret Mascaro, played the national anthem and alma mater for the crowd, adding a note of ceremony to the event in anticipation of the groundbreakings.Mr. Nascimento asked the members of the Board present to join him for the initial groundbreaking and shovels were placed by Mr. Nascimento, Ms. Brenda Hackett, Mr. Greg Pellicano, Ms. Maria Shackelford, Ms. Kim Woodring, and Superintendent Dr. David Zerbe.The second groundbreaking included MHS principal Ms. Judith Gallagher-Landis, MHS assistant principal for athletics and activities Mr. Paul Spiewak, and MHS junior students representing marching band (Damon Rodriguez), field hockey (Sarah Sterchak), soccer (Kevin Conrad and Cay McNichol), football (Nick Rossi), softball (Megan Stauffer), and lacrosse (Aiden Deneke). MHS Track and field players were attending a tournament and were unable to participate.The third groundbreaking included members of the Warrior Pride Capital Campaign's leadership team, including Mr. James Beam, Mr. James Aronow, Ms. Lois Byrne, Mr. Chris Chipman, Ms. Lauren Rieger, and Campaign Chair Mr. James Van Horn.The event was attended by community members young and old alike, and Mr. Nascimento reminded the crowd of the true purpose of the project, "...our students are really the reason why we are here today. The work that begins today will transform our district and our high school campus, and will allow our students to compete and perform in state of the art facilities, befitting the caliber of students and athletes we have here at Methacton. For too long have they gone without the facilities that they deserve. Well, no more."Watch the progress of the high school fields project right here on our website at www.methacton.org/fields.