The updated pedestrian bridge at Blue Hills Regional.
The multi-use synthetic athletic field.
Photos by Judy Bass
By Judy Bass
With its milestone 50th anniversary looming on the horizon in 2016, Blue Hills Regional Technical School in Canton is making needed upgrades to its building and campus, specifically its playing fields, in order to continue providing the most state-of-the-art environment possible for students from the school’s district towns of Avon, Braintree, Canton, Dedham, Holbrook, Milton, Norwood, Randolph and Westwood for decades to come.
“As Blue Hills approaches its 50th anniversary,” said Superintendent James P. Quaglia, “the school is making a long-term and concerted effort to improve our facilities and grounds.”
According to Director of Facilities Services Gene Mastro, “Many things are past what you would call their useful life.” (Blue Hills Regional opened it doors in 1966; an addition was completed ten years later, in 1976.)
Two years ago, the upgrades began with the school’s indoor pool, said Superintendent James P. Quaglia. Mastro said there were repairs to the concrete and the deck, new tile was installed, plus new HVAC, controls, and electrical work. “These are more energy-efficient methods for heat and climate controls.”
Upgrades to Blue Hills’ baseball and softball fields were “way overdue,” Mastro explained. New backstops were installed, along with fencing, dugouts, and improved drainage with new sod placed on the new infield, Mastro added.
Another area that was improved is the pedestrian bridge near the east entrance to the school. “Needed structural repairs” were made there as well, said Quaglia.
The football field was transformed into what Quaglia called “a multi-use synthetic athletic field” for soccer, football, and lacrosse. This impressive new field will be inaugurated at the homecoming football game on Friday, October 24. The track will be resurfaced next summer.
Yet another significant project that was undertaken recently, said Mastro, was the installation of a new domestic hot water system that is “much more energy-efficient.” As well, the floor in the cafeteria was recently replaced; a process that entailed the removal of the original floor, asbestos abatement, and the installation of a new resilient flooring system.
Mastro also mentioned an NStar rebate-funded school-wide lighting upgrade that is presently being completed.
“All the way along,” Quaglia pointed out, “we have been completing science labs, three of them over the course of five years,” including physics, chemistry and biology labs. “We’re able to offer a lot more in terms of science lab work for our students.”
Quaglia said that for several years, Blue Hills has filed a statement of interest with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) for the same project, a school-wide replacement of all windows, entrances, and an internal heating loop. “We’re hopeful that soon we could be placed in the MSBA pipeline for a project having to do with our building envelope, HVAC and other needed repairs,” said Quaglia.