Artificial turf, new track and other improvements
A few things will look different at Whittier come fall.
Crews are currently on site at the football field installing artificial turf, an eight-lane track and new lighting, which is expected to be completed in October.
"The upgrades we're making to the football and track fields will put our facilities in line with our neighboring school districts and better align our athletic programs with the competitive career technical education and academic courses we offer at Whittier," Superintendent Maureen Lynch said.
Whittier is one of the last schools in the state with a grass football field, which requires year-round maintenance and prevents spring athletes from using the area.
The $2 million endeavor will also allow Whittier to expand its track from six lanes to eight, in turn making the school eligible to host track meets.
As part of the project, junior carpentry students designed and built a new, long set of stairs leading from the football field and track to the baseball and softball fields.
The addition of stairs provides for safer travel for athletes moving between fields, along with easy access for track students competing in javelin and discus events on the upper field next year.
Carpentry students who built the stairs are: juniors Angelica Cintron, Siarra Cronin, Cody Littlefield, Alanna Stafford, Angel Alvarado, Nicholas Glynn, Jared Recillas, Jyrell Ruiz, Tyler Wetherbee and Emily Wilson, all of Haverhill, and Dylan Fraize of Amesbury; and seniors Nathan Angus, Kaitlyn MacDuff, Alphonso Johnson, and Richard Giarrusso, all of Haverhill, Trevor Spaulding and Jeremy Higgins from Merrimac, and Nico Atzei, of Amesbury.
On the other side of campus, students in the construction trades designed and built a new welcome sign -- framed in stone and accented with metal -- which was up and running for parents, guardians and community members to see at Whittier's May 30 graduation.
The project, which started in the fall, began with carpentry students excavating the site to allow for the larger sign to fit.
They then backfilled the hole before the December break, sometimes working in frigid temperatures as low as 19 degrees so Masonry students could take over when it warmed up in April.
In the spring, Masonry students laid the stone blocks while Metal Fabrication students created a large, ornamental school logo for the top of the structure. Electrical students then helped with the installation of a digital sign that lights up and conveys messages.
“This was a year-long project that involved months of planning, design and construction,” said carpentry instructor Earl Corr. "It was great to see the collaboration across shops. Everyone did a great job and this is something we can be proud of for years to come."
Masonry students who worked on the sign with instructor Paul Boucher are: sophomores Anthony Bridges, Asahya Hernandez, and James Palmacci, of Haverhill, Lily Fox and Brian Levesque, of Amesbury, Matthew Livengood, of Salisbury, and Timothy Rollins, of Georgetown; juniors Matthew Nunez, Xavier Valdivieso, Edward Fernandez and Hector Valentin, all of Haverhill, and Caleb Lampert, of Georgetown; seniors Adam Correia, Mike Doucette, and Griffen Rogers, all of Haverhill, and Kyle McCoy, of Newburyport.
Carpentry students who worked on the sign with Corr are: seniors Nathan Angus, Alphonso Johnson, Serena Muniz, Neveah Pitcher, Carlos Then-Torres, Joseph Cahill, Richard Giarrusso, all of Haverhill, Nico Atzei of Amesbury, Jeremy Higgins, Julian Hallahan and Trevor Spaulding, of Merrimac, Julia Arango, of Salisbury, and Eric Towne, of Newbury.
Metal Fabrication students who worked on the project with instructor Chris Gerber are: sophomores Colby Laursen-Rice, Cole Nealon, and Jayden Champa, all of Haverhill, and Michael Maguire, of Merrimac.