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SPRINGFIELD — At its Jan. 25 meeting, the Springfield School Committee voted unanimously in favor of a proposal to transfer a land parcel behind Duggan Academy to the city for the property to be maintained as a public park in the name of famed high school coach Ted Plumb.

$16 million has been directed towards the construction and development of Duggan Park, which will include an athletic complex rededicated to Plumb, a former coach at Springfield Trade, now Putnam Vocational Technical Academy.

“It is going to be in the name of the legendary coach Ted Plumb,” Sarno said. “The field that was taken away when we built the new Putnam Vocational Technical Academy.”

The complex design will include a middle and high school level field for football, soccer, field hockey and lacrosse, and a running track for track and field events. The facility will also have lighting, bleachers, restrooms and a concession stand.

At the meeting, Director of Parks, Recreation and Building Management Pat Sullivan praised Sarno for his role in appropriating additional funds to address landfill issues associated with the field construction.

“This project goes back to 2016,” Sullivan said. “It’s been a long dream of Mayor Sarno to make this field happen for the city of Springfield.”

Following a visit to the site under construction last year, Sarno emphasized the need for the facility.

“The improvements and enhancements planned for our Duggan field is desperately needed and will greatly benefit our youth, athletes and their families,” he said.

With the 22-acre land transfer of the land receiving the go ahead for the School Committee, the measure needed a vote by the City Council and the approval of the mayor’s office.

The council approve the transfer at its Feb. 12 meeting.

“I’m actually a coach at Duggan and we actually want to see that gym expanded because we believe once we get this football field, we’re going to have a lot more athletes wanting to come to Duggan,” he said.

After approval of the Ted Plumb area transfer, the Parks Department also took over an additional land parcel from the Springfield Public Schools with the council’s blessing. Sullivan informed the City Council that the acreage was part of a master plan for Greenleaf Park and the additional land located behind the Mary Walsh School will be added to the park restoration along with the use federal funds to complete the project.

“We’ve had great success with these projects and working with the school department across the city,” he said. “It’s actually going to allow the School Department and the children that attend the Mary Walsh School to use the expanded facilities of both the playground, the splashpad and the walking trails that we’re installing at Greenleaf Park.”

Ward 5 Councilor Lavar Click-Bruce offered appreciation and praise for Sullivan and the land transactions calling them great for the city.

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