Once upon a time Hill-Roberts and Hyman Fine Elementary Schools had beautiful twin gym floors. They were original floors in 1975 when the school opened. But now those gyms, designed for 20-25 years, are pushing 45 years old! Municipal funding is the only way to fix these gyms, They are not eligible for Mass School Building state funding.

When I toured both schools in February, 2019, these gyms struck me as ugly, way beyond their usefulness and unsafe. They were both covered with large areas of brownish gunk. Children were trying to run on those floors! So I tried to slide onto the brownish area and came to an immediate halt. I couldn’t slide. Beanbags can’t slide along those floors, much less children!

I serve on the Capital Improvement and City Development Committee of the City Council. Therefore, my highest priority are the Hyman Fine and Hill-Roberts school gyms, listed at $75,000 for each new gym floor.

Since May I’ve been advocating with city officials, families who have children at both elementary schools, with Superintendent David Sawyer and several School Committee Members. I figured it would be a year long effort with uncertain results.

But I really didn’t care. I didn’t want to see any children get hurt. I figured our high school gym would have been fixed a long time ago. I’m not going to quit my crusade….. that’s just how I am.

Today I got a phone call telling me that the city administration is going to ask the City Council to approve the funds to replace both the Hyman Fine and Hill-Roberts school gyms.

It felt like an answer to my prayers.

Tomorrow I hope to take a photo of both current gym floors. I want you to see these floors.

I hope I’m still on the city council when these two floors are finally fixed. I want to throw a bean bag across the new floors…. slide on them myself… and watch the children running and sliding….. safely!

Politics is full of windy roads… help me make these new gym floors possible. All my best … Ty Waterman, City Councilor At-Large

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