Electrical workers lay conduit under the SHS fields.
The SHS Foundation has successfully completed it’s first full year of operation by raising the money necessary to match a $90,000 gift from the Charlie Semprebon Fund earmarked by the City of Barre for lighting the school’s athletic fields.
Underground electrical work has been completed and installation of the lighting system is underway. By August of this year the lights will shine at Spaulding High. This is the first of many projects envisioned by the Foundation to bring the athletic complex into the 21st century.
Their efforts are in keeping with the stated mission of the organization, which is: to raise funds through organized campaigns and planned gift opportunities to finance projects and initiatives beyond what the school budget can support.
“This first phase of the athletic field project came to fruition as a result of a community effort comprised of individuals from local businesses who generously donated their time and professional expertise; as well as the dedicated Board of Directors with whom I serve,” said Edmond Rousse ’79, President of the organization.
SHS alumni have always stepped to the plate for their alma mater, and this project is no exception. From ditch digging to electrical contractors, they donated immeasurable hours of in-kind services including manpower, materials and heavy equipment. When the lights finally go on, it will be thanks, in no small part, to loyal graduates who own and manage companies like Bates & Murray Electrical Contractors, Norway & Sons, Inc.; E.F. Wall Construction Co.; and Lajeunesse Construction; just to name a few.
The Athletic Field Renovation Project goes far beyond the lighting. It focuses on creating a state-of-the-art facility for the athletes and the greater community. The project also includes upgrading the track and football fields; expanding and reconfiguring other fields and installation of a mile long walking path for community use.
Virtually untouched since they were built in 1964, the condition of the facilities prevents many teams from playing home games at SHS. Sanctioned soccer games cannot be played because the field runs into the baseball infield; the track team cannot host official meets because of the age, size and composition of the track; softball is played at the old Lincoln School; lacrosse is played on the football field and the baseball field is grandfathered, although still below standards.
The Foundation is also seeking to raise funds for future renovation of the auditorium at the school to create a true Performing Arts Center.
In addition, it recognizes that some donors may desire to support endeavors that have a direct academic benefit. With that in mind, the Foundation foresees future opportunities to award Grants for projects that improve the scholastic classroom experience of the student.
“The Foundation meets every 2nd Wednesday of the month in the SHS Library. Alumni are welcome. We continue to gain momentum with strategic planning, marketing ideas and coordinated alumni relations encouraging new volunteer involvement,” Ed Rousse added.
As of press time, new unanticipated expenses of approximately $25,000 associate with delivery and labor costs for the lighting project have arisen. The Foundation is soliciting any financial assistance that alumni can provide.
The foundation Is a 501c(3) organization. Donations are tax deductible. They can be mailed to the Foundation at 120 Ayers Street, Barre, VT,05641, or made at: www.spauldinghsfoundation.org. Pledges can be made over time and the Foundation can assist you with estate planning strategies.
This article is courtesy of the Spring 2014 edition of the Class of 1958 Reflections newsletter.