LETTER: Nephew of Richard Moxley Asks School Officials Not to Put Temporary WHS on Field Named for Vietnam Vet

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I am writing to you about the use of Moxley Field as a location for a temporary high school while a new state of the art high school is built for the kids of Watertown.

Moxley Field is named after my uncle, PFC Richard Stephen Moxley. All of Richie’s immediate family have passed away, and I wanted to reach out to you before a final decision is made.

Growing up in Watertown after his death, most people I met would mention Uncle Richie fondly and share how they had known him or grown up with him. Moxley Field is a dedicated reminder of his ultimate sacrifice in the Vietnam War, and the sacrifices of others. Paving it over with a parking lot and portables does not seem to do justice to his memory. I respectfully request that you revisit this decision and look at some of the other sites you have previously looked at and rejected.

It has been many years since I left Watertown, but there are a few things I remember well. I remember the enormous sense of pride my grandparents felt when Moxley Field was mentioned. I also remember cleaning out my grandfather’s bedroom after he passed, and finding Richie’s Purple Heart in the desk next to his bed — within arm’s reach, a reminder of his son years after his passing. I also remember whenever I visited Richie’s gravestone that my grandfather always cut flowers from the backyard and placed them in a very simple container or cup at the grave of his son and other children that predeceased him.

The families and kids of Watertown deserve a future with an amazing education in a new school. I just hope you remember the past as well — the service and sacrifice of PFC Richard Moxley, his legacy and the community involvement of his parents. They helped shape an earlier time in Watertown. I would urge you to consider this legacy as you make a final decision in location of a temporary high school.

Best Wishes,
Lance Kuntzman
Hyannis, Mass.

9 thoughts on “LETTER: Nephew of Richard Moxley Asks School Officials Not to Put Temporary WHS on Field Named for Vietnam Vet

  1. Hi, The modulars are a well thought out temporary solution best for our students. Moxley field will be renewed and replaced after the modulars are removed and students enter their new high school. Also, I believe a number of veterans wrote a letter in favor/supporting the Moxley site, which was read at the previous school committee meeting.

  2. I grew up in Watertown and still in Watertown. Moxley Field is where we went after getting out of school, meeting friends and during school we used the field for PE. Why would you want to take that park and field away from the kids. Plus why put High School kids next to a middle school, isn’t there enough kids getting bullied?

      • Why would a park be used at all? Why not ask business leaders and civic organizations to help locate a more suitable space? We need to protect open recreational space.

        • This space will be returned to its original use and condition when the project is over. We are at a point where a decision needs to be made and concrete proposals needs to be vetted.

  3. It was said at the building committee tonight that the building of the TEMPORARY modulars will start November 2022 and there for at least 4 and a half years .

    A letter was read from Richie Moxley’s nephew at the building committee meeting .

    Richie Moxley’s nephew Lance
    wrote from his heart of how disrespectful it will be to pave over the playing field dedicated to his uncle Richie -his late Mother’s younger brother .
    I have talked to Lance . He couldn’t believe Watertown would do this
    He is heartbroken !

    The letter from a Gold Star mother was read -asking not to desecrate this dedicated field touched my heart.

    Our community letter was read stating our commitment to save the PFC Richard Moxley playground and to find a less destructive plan- that won’t take a playing field from our children and will preserve our quality of life .

    I know Richie who loved playing ball on this field would not want it taken away from all the hundreds of players
    – leaving them with no other playing field to go to in Watertown .

    I publicly invite the members of the building committee school committee and others to meet with me at 8:01 at the start of the day at the Middle School .
    A picture is worth a thousand words.

    Mr Sideris publicly stated the abutters will still be able to park on the street.
    They can’t NOW!
    Abutters cannot park in front of their homes with teachers parked along Westminster Avenue .

    Yet, I have never heard one abutter complain because it is the Only place for the teachers to park,

    The parents’ cars line the street dropping off their students-in little Linden street to Westminster Avenue in addition to buses etc

    This is a junior high school for every Watertown 6- 7-8th grade student
    Now add every 9-10-11-12th grader in this small area – with parents making 500 high school student drop offs twice a day – with buses. They say they plan to encourage students to ride bikes ! Is this even doable ?

    Is this realistic in the cold – rain – snow? Isn’t it dangerous with all the existing car traffic in this area!

    We have offered other sites and they reject them . We are dedicated to the task,
    Imagine this – when I told the school superintendent that there is no other available playing field in Watertown – she advised me that she is looking in Newton for available playing fields .

    The building committee have no solution to not having another playing field -so it is not mentioned !

    As far as my opinion on building a née high school – I have been lobbying for a new high school for decades . It is nearly 100 years old . It should have been done FIRST – our children were exposed to asbestos and more for years .

    Let’s work together and be respectful!
    I previously wrote 2 civil emails to chair Sideris – no reply ! I sent a civil email to town manager- no reply – follow up phone message-no reply !

    I also had asked chair Sideris to send a Town wide mailing to inform people .
    I asked the town manager to fund it .
    They do not respond . No mailing !
    Most people do not know!

    How sad that as we honor our fallen heroes this Memorial Day, the building committee is planning to bulldoze and lay cement over a Fallen Hero’s Memorial playground with a parking lot for 119 cars snd 33 two story modular structures .
    God bless the souls of all our Fallen Heroes.

  4. With all due respect to Mr Kuntzman, this is a temporary solution, not permanent. The playground will be returned to use after this project is finished. I would think that for his uncle, having it used to help the children of our community would be an honor, and the town will improve the playground when the work is finished. What more could any veteran want than a lasting legacy that will see more use for Watertown’s youth in the future?

  5. How sad that the memories of a nephew for his uncle, who served our nation and received the well deserved honor of the naming of Moxley Field, are being used in this campaign by its leader. This temporary project to replace the high school requires a swing space, and it will present challenges to any of the proposed locations. Would placing it at Filippelo Park be an insult to Italian-Americans? Let’s work to mitigate the negative effects on the neighbors for the site that is chosen and stop with this NIMBY nonsense.

  6. So many questions gone unanswered

    -,Taking this playing field away from hundreds of users -no discussion – no solution !
    There is not another available playing field in Watertown !
    Where do our youngsters, -teams- families and children go for 5 years ?

    The term that it is only “TEMPORARY (5 years )“is thrown around repeatedly .

    Think about the unanswered “TEMPORARY questions not answers !

    No discussion about the cost of removing the cement -,the parking lot – the 33 two story modular buildings in 2027!

    The committee stated they are going to ENCOURAGE. the students to ride bikes to school .

    I have met with Tom Sullivan and believe this is the best choice for our children and quality of life . After looking at possible sites this is the best option .
    No unanswered questions left with this plan or unknown later osts .

    .We would not dishonor a fallen hero. The Moxley family were so honored at the dedication -and We would save the taxpayers $24 million dollars .

    We would have a beautiful new high school for our children with a temporary site that would be safe – not destroy a dedicated most used playing field— provide a gym in the Hosmer School for use of the high school students –

    It would avoid the later high cost of removing cement -33 two story structures -a parking lot for 119 vehicles -in addition to all the utilities .

    The Building Committee needs to reconsider their decision.

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