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Volunteers at Boynton Middle School work to restore outdoor amphitheater 

  • Volunteers clean up the outdoor amphitheater at Boynton Middle School on Saturday. —Courtesy photo

  • Volunteers clean up the outdoor amphitheater at Boynton Middle School on Saturday. —Courtesy photo

  • Volunteers clean up the outdoor amphitheater at Boynton Middle School on Saturday. —Courtesy photo



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, September 12, 2018 5:37PM

Behind the Boynton Middle School library lies a hidden gem that members of the School Board and administration would like to see opened up to the community.

The outdoor amphitheater at the middle school was used a few times a year when she attended the school, School Board member Rachel Anderson said – she took her class picture there, and a few theatrical productions took advantage of the natural stage.

“But it was used pretty minimally. Now, it pretty much looks like it’s been forgotten,” Anderson said.

Boynton Principal Liz Pogorzelski said in an interview Wednesday that teachers have occasionally brought students to the amphitheater for a break or to hold classes on a nice day, but there hasn’t been regular use of the amphitheater. She said she’d like to see it used for chorus and band, or for ceremonies such as the honor roll awards.

“It’s a nice space, and it has a tiered platform, so it would provide great natural stadium seating,” she said.

School Board member Steve Spratt became interested in reviving the amphitheater, not only to put it back into use for the school, but to make it available to the public, Anderson said.

“New Ipswich and Greenville don’t have a community center. The schools are the center of the community, so he started to look around at what space we might have available,” Anderson said.

On Saturday, a group of volunteers gathered to make a start on clearing up the space. Volunteers cut back overgrowth, repainted railings, and planted flowers in the garden.

“It does look 100 percent better, but it’s an ongoing project,” Anderson said.

For now the amphitheater will be available for school events, including an already-planned movie night. Anderson said she hopes eventually it become a true community space.

“The ultimate goal, the ideal goal, would be to be able to offer it to the town to use for music or arts or theater events,” Anderson said. “Why not get the public in to see the schools and the grounds?”

Before that piece can come to fruition, Anderson said, the school board will have to review its facility use policy. Likely, she said, use of the amphitheater will follow the same rules for use of other school facilities, such as the gymnasium. The towns and nonprofits are gifted the use of the facility. Because this is an outdoor facility, the School Board will have to discuss logistic issues such as whether attendees will have access to the school to use the bathroom.

“Those are the kinds of things we need to explore to see how we can make it accessible, and meet that ultimate goal for it to be a community space,” Anderson said.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.