The district pays about $5,000 a year to use those sites.
He said the district wants to keep the students “playing near our own campus” and will create two fields.
“By constructing soccer and softball fields in the former bus garage and College Avenue sites, all Franklin Academy varsity-athletic teams would play their home contests at the actual high-school site,” Whipple said.
He said district sports programs have expanded in the last several years and that the school “is in constant conflict with community groups who also want to use the same facilities for youth soccer and baseball/softball programs.
Whipple said the bus-garage project would be 90 percent funded through state aid and paid off across 30 years.
The planned facility would have a 24-hour fueling station available to whichever partnering entity obtains a valid password from the district, which makes fuel priced under state contract.
“Other municipalities will have the ability to leverage those prices and save significantly for their taxpayers,” Whipple said.
ONCE IN A LIFETIME
The shared transportation space on Route 11 would include space for vehicle maintenance, a washing station, vehicle painting and access to welding equipment.
“We believe the acquisition and subsequent demolition and development of the College Avenue buildings is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Griffin said.
“These properties have become a nuisance. The thought of turning these properties into playing fields for (district) students and children of surrounding communities is exciting,” he said. “I believe this project is something that the entire community could take pride in.”
Email Denise A. Raymo:email@example.com