MSAD #51 District Newsletter - March 29, 2024

From the Superintendent

porterPart of the proposed Primary School & One Campus Sustainability concept design approved by the Board of Directors on March 18 includes a line item for a synthetic (artificial) turf field that would be installed at Hutchins Field. Since then, there have been questions about why this project was included as part of the campus improvement package. Below are the reasons why a synthetic turf field is not just a want, but a necessity, in maintaining the one-campus model for the long-term:

  1. Currently, Hutchins Field can only be used around 170 hours a year and limited to games for our soccer, football, and lacrosse athletes. Turf can be used almost year-round and made available for practices, community use, and expanded to include field hockey athletes. The district is committed to ensuring that the turf field is PFAS-free, alternative infill (not crumb rubber), and recyclable.
  2. Providing a consistent and accessible playing surface for our athletes, visiting teams, and the community. Despite the best efforts and hard work of our facilities and grounds staff who spend countless hours maintaining Hutchins Field, grass fields have long been a challenge in Maine due to winter weather, athletic wear-and-tear, and sheer demand for field usage.
  3. Our student athletes invest so much time into their seasons, their sport, and the community. In comparison with the schools that we compete with, our student athletes are at a significant competitive disadvantage as most schools now have turf fields. Additionally, Greely does not have a home advantage because practices cannot be held on Hutchins Field due to the fragility of field conditions. In some sports (such as field hockey), our student athletes are not even considered by colleges if they do not play on turf.
  4. There is no place on campus to practice for the first several weeks of the spring season. Programs must rent indoor turf off site in Portland. On average, 30% of regular season practices have occurred off campus either at an indoor facility or at a rented turf at a neighboring school. This places a burden on families financially and in the time transporting players to and from off-site practices. Additionally, many of our student athletes are young drivers who are transporting themselves, often late into the evening when off-site facilities are available, creating safety concerns.
  5. Installing a turf field will provide more space for outdoor physical education classes during the school day, while freeing up more opportunities for the community to use fields at Twin Brook, which are often in demand during school athletic seasons.

Greater Portland Schools with Turf: Lewiston, Thornton, Portland, Windham ,Deering, Scarborough, Kennebunk, Falmouth, Cape Elizabeth, Yarmouth, Freeport, Waynflete, NYA, York (in process).

Greater Portland Schools without Turf: Greely, Cheverus, Westbrook, Gray/New Gloucester, So. Portland.

Hopefully, this helps relay the importance of a turf field in the overall planning for one-campus sustainability. Co-curricular programs such as athletics are education-based and an integral part of our students' education, requiring a level of investment that matches other program offerings.

Jeff Porter

On March 14, the IB Diploma Students and the Community Services Club hosted an Oxfam Hunger Banquet. This interactive event brought hunger and poverty issues to life. When guests arrived at our Oxfam Hunger Banquet event, they drew tickets at random that assigned them to a high-, middle-, or low-income tier—based on the latest statistics about poverty around the world. Each income level had a different experience. The 20% in the high-income tier were served a sumptuous meal at tables; the 30% in the middle-income group ate a simple meal of rice and beans, seated in chairs; and the 50% in the low-income tier helped themselves to small portions of rice and water while sitting on the floor. Charles Segal and Whitney Bond were our MC's guiding participants through this interactive experience. The money we raised will be donated to the Preble Street Food Pantry.

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MSAD #51 Board of Directors Information

All meetings will take place at 6:00 pm in the Gyger Room at Greely High School.  For those of you unfamiliar with that room, the Gyger Room can be accessed from the GHS parking lot (the side without the electronic sign).

April 1 - Regular Meeting

Remember you can watch our meetings on YouTube LIVE (

Update from the Board of Directors

Hopefully you have heard the exciting news that the district has created a plan for a new primary (PK-1) school to be built on our campus! This process has taken years of hard work by multiple boards, committees, and community members, with several proposals on four different sites, and a lot of moving backward or sideways before we could move forward. We are thrilled at the opportunity we now have to build this long-needed facility, and address other issues on campus to make a “One Campus” solution sustainable for the future. We also recognize that you may have questions about what is being proposed and what issues we are trying to address with the different project components. So as we look to the next two months leading up to a referendum vote, we are committed to providing you with all the information you need to make an informed decision in June.

The following are effective and efficient ways of accessing information and asking questions about the project: 

  • Visit our Website. Here you will find the architectural plans, presentations on various aspects of the project, and our FAQ section (which is continually updated as needed).
  • Attend a Board of Directors Meeting. Our next meeting is this coming Monday, April 1st, at 6pm in the Gyger Room of Greely High School.
  • Watch a Previous Board Meeting. All Board of Director meetings are recorded and available on our YouTube channel, with time stamps to help you find the portion you are looking for.
  • Email the Board. Through this link you may access the email addresses for the entire Board of Directors. 
  • Attend a Q&A session. We are holding in-person events where members of the Board’s Community Engagement Committee will be there for you to speak with directly.
  • Attend a Virtual Information Session. In addition, Superintendent Porter is hosting four virtual meetings focusing on specific topics addressed in the Project.

MSAD #51 Board members are your neighbors, and we value your input and appreciate the opportunity to talk about this project. We are eager to hear from you, gather feedback, understand concerns, and answer questions. We are genuinely grateful to those of you who have already reached out to us, and we look forward to hearing from or seeing more of you soon.


While we encourage you to follow the district’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, the board does not actively monitor comments that are posted to these accounts or other Facebook groups. If you have a question or concern, please use the communication channels listed above. 


Meeting Dates, Agendas & Minutes
Board of Directors Meeting Videos

Budget Information 2024-25

Detailed budget information can be found on the District's website at:

Important Dates


School Building Project Information

For comprehensive information regarding the School Building Project, please visit the project page at:


Community Partners

Our Community Partners are strong supporters of various areas of the school.  Without them, our students would not have many of the wonderful opportunities and experiences that they receive.

Parent University Presents “Project iGuardian”

Opportunity to Volunteer

GMS 6 & 7 Grade Step-Up Dance:

Community Notices

Community Notices are not affiliated with MSAD #51.  Please contact the organization directly with any questions.  For a full listing of Community Notices, please click HERE.

Metal Health Matters 5K

Sounds of Silence


Useful Links

Employment Opportunities

MSAD #51 Website

2018-2023 Strategic Plan

District Calendar

GHS Athletics Schedule

Greely Center for the Arts Events


If you would like something included in our weekly newsletter, please send a brief write up with title along with a JPEG or PNG image of your flyer (if applicable) to Melissa Porter for approval. The deadline each week is Sunday. Any requests received after Sunday will be reviewed for possible submission in the following week's newsletter. All approved submissions will be posted on the district's website.

Not all items in this email are MSAD #51 sponsored programs. If you need more information, please contact the group or organization that is sponsoring the event.

Maine School Administrative District #51
357 Tuttle Road, PO Box 6A, Cumberland, ME 04021
Contact Us   |   207.829.4800