The following letter was submitted by Marilyn Petitto Devaney:
The School building Committee has been holding Zoom meetings. Unfortunately, like my neighbors I didn’t’ know. There are about twelve houses across the Street on Westminster Avenue from the PFC Moxley playground. No letter was ever sent to the abutters to notify them of any meetings or their decision.
They have made their decision without input. There are only about 12 abutters adjacent to the playground yet no notice was sent.
The pandemic has been life changing for many, out of work, others trying to work and deal with children’s school schedule — home schooling- family obligations and health issues as well. Majority of people are not into the many Zoom meeting that are held – many are not technical.
There was no communication to notify abutters that a most important life changing decision was taking place- Simply- because they did not receive a notice at their home!
Unknown to the PFC Richard Stephen Moxley Playground abutters, the School Building Committee chose this site to put a temporary high school with up to 33 two story modular structures with 100 parking spaces. It would completely destroy the playground — all green space — at a cost of up to $22 million to $24 million dollars. It could be the site for 5-8 years as there is no high school plan at this time.
First my major objection is – This playground is dedicated to PFC Richard Moxley USMC who was killed in Vietnam in 1968. This is the most egregious action of the School Building Committee. It is disrespectful to the memory of a fallen hero – “Richie” played on this playground when he was growing up.
My late husband and I were livelong friends of the Moxley family. We were with Richie at a party before he left for boot camp. Sadly there is no voice from the Moxley family to oppose this plan. Richie’s parents, brothers and sisters have all died. I am not opposed because Richie was a friend — I am opposed to destroying any park dedicated to a fallen hero.
I have talked to the head of the Massachusetts Veterans about this. This plan must not happen. Many will join me in opposition. This should not be allowed!
Watertown please join me and tell the School Building Committee — NOT ON THE PFC RICHARD STEPHEN MOXLEY PLAYGROUND.
This is the worst site they could ever choose. In this small area on the same side of Westminster Avenue. Starting to the left of PFC Richard Stephen Moxley Playground is a large gymnasium — Middle School — tot lot with slide, swings etc. tennis court — basketball court- Teachers and Visitors Park along Westminster Avenue, Parents drop
off children. I heard there is talk that after the modular buildings are built the tot lot cannot be used during school times.
There will be 1270 Middle School and High school students. If this site is used – there will be about 5000 drop offs of students twice a day.
This is the most used field – it is fully scheduled every day from March to November
Watertown High School Athletics – Youth Baseball -Youth softball–Watertown-Belmont Youth football-Recreation Flag Football – Watertown High School Physical Ed – Middle School Physical ed- Camp Pequosette- baseball games with Minuteman and more.
The biggest problem in Watertown is finding playing fields — Where can all the users of the field go? After the horse is out of the barn the abutters received a notice last week about an April 14th zoom meeting explaining the plan. There are so many existing problems with cars on Westminster – students dropped off, drivers trying to get to Main Street off Westminster Avenue. Bemis street adjacent to the middle school is closed from 7 am to 4 pm preventing drivers to exit onto Main Street.
As an abutter, I never complain when I can’t get out of my driveway due to a meeting or classes at the Middle School or a big game at the playground etc. I chose to live here- it comes with the territory.
This is wrong – mainly in the memory of a fallen hero- and secondly it is without question the worst site chosen.
I appreciate the School building members’ efforts but they must change their decision. There are other viable sites.