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POLL: What Should Go At Yentile Farm?

Vote in our poll and weigh in with your development plans in the comments section below.

Thanks to a and a , Wilmington is set to purchase land at 9 Cross Street, known as Yentile Farm.

The purchase isn't official yet, but the town has entered into a purchase and sale agreement. said members have not discussed any specifics yet of what they'll do with the land, but those conversations will kick up likely in June.

"The Board of Selectmen clearly supports the idea of enhancing our inventory of recreational field space," said Newhouse. "I also would emphasize that the process will be an open and transparent one, and public input will be welcome."

Several Patch readers have asked about the property, saying they'd like to see things like walking trails or a swimming pool built on the property.

So we want to know. What do you want to see on the town's newest land purchase? Vote in our poll below, and if you have a fresh idea for the property, let us know in the comments section below.

jo May 22, 2012 at 07:27 PM
"the Farm" would be a perfect site for a casino, that way no one could ever mention again that it would be a good site for the new high school.
Robert Hayes May 22, 2012 at 09:43 PM
While the new Wildwood field will primarily be used as a practice field for several athletics teams, it will also contain a softball field. See Slide #8: http://www.wilmington.k12.ma.us/HSBC/2012-02-16%20HSBC-R.pdf. (Please note that some of the other information in this presentation is outdated as it's 3 months old.) So, I'm not saying the town shouldn't build a new softball field at the Yentile property, I'm just saying that it is the intent of the new school plan to maintain a softball field at the high school. I'm sure - ultimately - they'll be "something for everybody" at this site. I'm sure the process will be open and all (reasonable) options will explored.
Frank Irizarry May 22, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Fantastic! That's almost a BILLION dollar idea :)
Frank Irizarry May 22, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Thank you LB, I appreciate it!
Kevin MacDonald May 23, 2012 at 10:17 AM
Daniel, you forgot the 20,000 gallons of fuel in tanks in the ground beside our well field that is being literally rocked by Quarry blasting vibration. How does losing our well field to a contamination disaster sound? Will you be proposing drilling wells at the Yentile farm? Oh I forgot, the NDMA chemical is moving into that vicinity because we are no longer pumping water from the shut down wells in that area that are contaminated.
Kevin MacDonald May 23, 2012 at 10:20 AM
Professor Frank, I am still waiting for the positive input. You are making me reluctant to recommend students take your college course.
Frank Irizarry May 23, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Greetings Kevin. You can simply call me Frank, no need to add "Professor." Here is my "positive input" and idea: 1) The current Wilmington High School should be torn down as that is the will of the majority (overwhelming majority) of our town. 2) A brand new, state-of-the-art high school will be built which will help subsequent generations of Wilmington High School students. 3) The town should use the Yentile Farm property to build a beautiful park complete with walking trails, a multi-purpose field for football/lacrosse/soccer and a baseball field. 4) The obstructionists in town finally yield to the demands of the (overwhelming) majority and stop impeding the town from moving along with the high school project and the Yentile Farm project. A brand new high school will boost student/teacher and staff morale and will increase performance and enhance the experience of our students. Having a new high school and a beautiful park/recreation area will be a boost to town morale and will make Wilmington an even more wonderful community. I hope that was positive enough. Please go back to recommending students to take my classes. Thanks!
Kevin MacDonald May 23, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Frank, I am not saying scrap the idea of a state of the art high school. I am simply saying that the architects have said that Wilmington High School is a structurally sound building. I believe it could generate income. The numbers I gave are very conservative and have not taken into account other rooms to also generate income such as the cafe, the auditorium, the gym, the janitors large room, and the enormous basement to name a few. The Town of North Reading desires a new High school. There are many regional schools in Massachusetts, and many combined town high schools like Concord-Carlisle, Lincoln-Sudbury, etc. I believe the majority of people were given misinformation, lack of information, and the whole school building process has been somewhat of a kangaroo court-like experience. This confirmed by anyone sensible who attended the conservation commission meeting when they approved a plan that drains water into an oil spill area beside a wetlands tributary that feeds other communities water supply. A town wide morale booster would be to stop wasting tax payers dollars and find ways to creatively finance projects by alternative means to taxation. What I am simply asking you is to come up with some "can do" thoughts how saving The High School Building could work. If you owned the building come up with your best suggestion how to generate income.
Anna May 24, 2012 at 12:14 AM
The forum here is supposed to be about ideas for the Yentile farm land, not for debate over issues that have been voted on already and denied! Once again, Mr. MacDonald is allowed to waste our time and energy with his ramblings. Why does he live in Wilmington if it's so bad????????? Mr. Irizarry, thank you for your intelligent, thoughtful and factual information. You are a well spoken and highly respected professor at a very prestigious university, your time shouldn't have to be wasted on this nonsense; it is clear that you have the best interests of the community of Wilmington on your mind. With that said, I would like to see the land used for turf fields that can be utilized by many sports with walking trails, a playground and even a dog park. If there is enough space, I think a field house for indoor activities, even track meets would be well received. If you travel around to other towns for sporting events, it is evident that they have invested in their youth, and also given something to their entire community by creating a welcome space for everyone to enjoy.
Kevin MacDonald May 24, 2012 at 10:05 AM
Over a million dollars a year generated from the transformation of Wilmington High School into a community college/economic development could finance some fine things at the Yentile Farm. I have lived in Wilmington all my life. Are you a transplant from the city Anna? If you lose your job Anna and see it moved to India, China, Mexico, or some other country then maybe you can sign up for the college and retrain for a better job and get paid by the company that sponsors a course while providing education AND a job for their students. I meet people that have graduated from prestigious colleges that are not worth minimum wage and witness the ability of people from no name institutions that are worth their weight in gold to companies.
Melissa Erickson May 24, 2012 at 12:08 PM
As a South Shore/City transplant myself and HR professional I can tell you that even the most educated person can walk through my door because they passed a phone screen process with the recruiters. When they arrive to conduct themselves for an in-person interview I can tell you that no amount of college education will get them the job if they don't fit the right behaviors that the organization is looking for. I would rather higher a lesser degree person who shows me the drive, motivation and the attitude vs. someone who can't hold a conversation and thinks their pedigree degrees will get them a job. I am a proud State College graduate but I also have a Masters from Northeastern. At the end of the day I am hired on my attitude, my experience and how I conduct myself during the interview. I think this topic could be a whole column onto itself because I can't judge how people are when they go in for interviews since I am not there, but I can tell you the jobs are out there....people need to find the one that fits. You also need to be prepared and presentable...key things that people suprisingly are not even with their prestigious degrees. So don't blame the jobs going overseas, it's not the only problem in the sea of bigger problems and don't blame it on being a city transplant. In fact, this town would have not have grown into the town it has been without us "transplants". Sometimes different experiences bring different perspectives.
Anna May 24, 2012 at 01:52 PM
I, too am a lifelong Wilmington resident, Kevin. If I felt the way you do about the way Wilmington is managed and developed, then I would certainly move. This town has grown beautifully over the years and is a very attractive place to raise a family. Not only are there people who have moved here from other communities, but many families like myself who grew up here and were lucky enough to be able to stay and raise their children. We like the new safety building and middle school and are thrilled with the plans for the new high school! The chance to develop a property like the Yentile farm land will only further enhance our community.
Jeff J May 24, 2012 at 03:26 PM
We already have many fields for or youth sports. Let's dedicate this open space to walking and jogging paths. Tranquilty and nature.
Jeff J May 24, 2012 at 04:08 PM
"... for our youth sports." Apologies for the typo.
webmom May 24, 2012 at 04:24 PM
I actually agree that we do have lots of fields. How much space is left for walking and jogging? doesn't seem like much (sadly). Aside from a leisurely stroll, I don't know if it would be good for jogging/speed walking. I do like the nature aspect of it though.
Stacie May 24, 2012 at 05:33 PM
No way are there enough Soccer fields, have you been to the Shawsheen fields?
Melissa Erickson May 24, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Yes there are a lot of "fields" but their conditions are awful.
Stacie May 24, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Around the Town Park off Route 38 - great walking trails Great walking trails at Camp 40 Acres as well
webmom May 24, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Melissa, I think just because the current conditions are awful shouldn't mean we need more of them, but rather that we take care of the ones we have. That reasoning would dictate that we should keep getting more and more as the current ones keep deteriorating. I do go to Shawsheen very regularly. I also have a good memory of the amount of money that has been spent on those fields over all these years. If it is not well spent, that's a seperate issue.
webmom May 24, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Cross St is pretty close to the Town Park...maybe there would be a nice way to hook them up somehow..
Melissa Erickson May 24, 2012 at 08:08 PM
I think that if we made it a multi-purpose space that has a little something for everyone - fields, track/running trails, dog park, a place to sit and have a picnic - it would just be an overall boost to the town. Shawsheen is a mess. I don't know what happened there but I also don't want certain people to turn this into an opportunity to rant and rave so I am not asking.
Jeff J May 25, 2012 at 04:25 AM
It's not that we have too many sports fields, but let's invest in something a little different next. I'm thinking like the entrance area of Ipswich River Park in North Reading, before you get to the soccer field area. This is a link to a satellite image of that area of Ipswich River Park--look at the area northwest of the parking area: http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&qscrl=1&nord=1&rlz=1T4GGLL_enUS315US315&ion=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1280&bih=880&wrapid=tlif133791985255410&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=ipswich+river+park+north+reading+MA&fb=1&gl=us&hq=ipswich+river+park+north+reading+MA&hnear=ipswich+river+park+north+reading+MA&cid=0,0,17738727159443471683&ei=bQm_T7H0PMfK6gH-89S5Cg&sa=X&oi=local_result&ct=image&resnum=1&ved=0CAoQ_BIwAA
Bernie McNally May 25, 2012 at 02:19 PM
I think the town should appoint an advisory committee for the development of this area and I would like to volunteer/apply for a position on this committee. I am currently the Playground Director for the Wilmington Recreation Summer Playground Program, a program that started with 75 kids and has now grown to 285 kids as of this summer. This goal was accomplished by the cooperation between the Town Hall Recreation staff (Recreation Director, Debbie Cipriani and Program Developers, Linda and Karen, as well as the full support of Town Manager, Michael Caira) and my former Co-directors: Kerry Robbins and Becky Rufo-Philbrick, as well as the phenomenonal playground leaders. In the 14+ years that I have run this program, we have incorporated 3 different playground programs into 1 very successful and popular program, including making our program inclusionary for our special needs students. Knowing this new recreational area could be asset for our program as well as the entire town of Wilmington, I would very much like to be on any planning committee for development ideas.
Foghorn Leghorn May 25, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Kevin's Quote "I am not saying scrap the idea of a state of the art high school"... That's all I say that's all you Say boy...Nice boy, but about as sharp as a sack of wet mice
Kevin MacDonald May 26, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Foghorn, You should read and state the entire quote so people don't think you are a bird brain.
Dennis B August 06, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Since the high school is now delayed, why don't they start working on this project until someone appeals it
Matt Schooley (Editor) August 06, 2012 at 07:41 PM
It's actually funny that you bring this topic up now, Dennis, since I will be posting an article on the Yentile Farm process for 5 p.m.
Mark Watson August 06, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Kevin, you seem to know a lot about Deming way. A waiting list? Just think...if they expand Deming way that is 200 more people you can trick into signing future appeals. Oh and sure, let's put the high school at Yentile so you and the other obstructionists can appeal that too. The high school will be built. You can only abuse the appeals process for so long.
Linda August 07, 2012 at 12:13 PM
Well put Mark!
Katie C. H. August 07, 2012 at 01:20 PM
A dog park with some parking would be ideal. There are so many dogs in my neighborhood, and we probably average 1 per home. It's a great way to meet townspeople, and we wouldn't have to drive to Lowell to get our dogs some great exercise.

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