The Fayetteville-Manlius School District celebrated its new turf field and track complex during Friday night’s varsity football game among a roaring crowd of students, parents and school officials, and a sea of green t-shirts reading “We did it!”
Announcing the 25-member committee of the Fayetteville-Manlius Community Sports Facility Association, F-M Athletic Director Richard Roy kicked-off the unveiling ceremony during the game’s half-time show.
“On behalf of our school district and community, I want to thank you for what is truly the gift of a lifetime,” Roy said of all who contributed to the project.
Committee member Becky Pulver said the group raised just over $1.4 million for the track and turf, as well as an additional $100,000 for future replacement in approximately 12 years. Pulver said the funds were raised over a three-and-a-half-year span before construction of the complex began in May.
Community members ultimately came together to form the FMCSFA after proposals to publicly fund the turf field were rejected in 2004 and 2008.
Becoming visibly emotional, Pulver described the night when the second referendum was defeated and the determination of community members that followed.
“The next day [after the meeting] I sent a note to all of the supporters thanking them, and I told them that someday we would have a turf field,” she said. “At that point, I had no idea how it would happen, but I believed, and I had faith.”
Pulver said the letter spawned a phone call from fellow committee member Kevin Hanlon and that the rest became history.
Speaking briefly, Hanlon thanked everyone who helped outside of the FMCSFA including school administration, the school board and the entire coaching staff.
“These individuals understood the tremendous value this project would add to the whole F-M community,” Hanlon said. “They believed in our dream and they worked side by side with our committee to tackle every issue presented with respect and professionalism.”