School officials feel confident that the project can be funded by private and public sources, but hope the town will cover what they see as basic amenities.
According to Galo, the students deserve at least a field with a fence around it, bleachers, some sort of public address system, and a scoreboard. “If the community wants other things, such as lights or other kinds of amenities, these are the things other community members should be picking up,’’ she said. “But it’s hard to break it down until we have that final price.”
Galo added that she doesn’t feel private donors should bear the cost of parking, as it would be something for the entire town.
While the cost may be high, sports proponents say the detailed work of committees and numerous studies have shown that all the major proposals are necessary.
Warren Pelissier, president of Hingham Sports Partnership, a private group that supports youth sports, said that Hingham isn’t in compliance with federal Title IX, which mandates equal opportunities for girls and boys sports.
Girls field hockey, for example, doesn’t have a proper field, he said. The girls play on a slanted field near the high school, without any amenities.
At the start of field hockey games, Pelissier said, “when they meet at the middle of the field and decide which team will take which end, the girls say to the coaches, ‘Do you want uphill or downhill in the first half?’ ”
If the girls can’t get a new field with the same amenities as boys, the school will have to rent facilities elsewhere to comply with the law, he said.
Furthermore, Hingham is one of only two football teams in the Patriot League without lights.
But even his group is looking at ways to cut costs.
“We are definitely looking at all possibilities,” Pelissier said. “We want to do what’s right as far as saving money in the process . . . . It seems to be a shame to go through an [intensive] process like this and not build it out properly for the town for generations to come. But if we have to back into it, we’re prepared to.”
Jessica Bartlett can be reached at jesssica.may.bartlett@ gmail.com.