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New long jump pit installed at Lafayette School



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Lowe's safety team member, Jeff Stone and his son Melo assist with the construction of a new long jump pit at Lafayette Regional School. (Photo by Angel Larcom) (click for larger version)
April 17, 2019
FRANCONIA — A crisp day in mud season didn't dampen spirits as construction began on Lafayette Regional School's new jump pit. Employees from Lowe's Home Improvement and Presby Construction worked together on April 11 to build a 20-foot long pit near the elementary school's playground. Their goal was to complete the project in two hours.

Samantha Presby of Lafayette School said, "Lowe's has been nice enough to donate many of the materials and Presby Construction is nice enough to donate the excavation and ground materials."

While overseeing the project, Jesse Lyman, health teacher and track coach at Lafayette explained that after eighty-four years in Lancaster, the annual Gilbert R. Rhoades Memorial YMCA Track Meet needed a new venue.

Lyman said Dianne Rappa, Executive Director of the North Country YMCA recently reviewed locations and determined that Lafayette Regional School would be a suitable new home for the historic event. It was quickly determined that a new long jump pit would need to be installed on school grounds, and Lyman reached out to area businesses for help.

Cecil Roberts, Diane Lambert and Jeff Stone from Lowe's were on-site to assist with the construction of the pit, as well as multiple Presby Construction employees.

Stone discussed the opportunity to be part of the day's activities: "It's fun for us not just to donate materials, but come out and get a little dirty too."

His children are slated to compete at the upcoming track meet.

Lyman said the YMCA track meet draws up to four hundred children from north country schools each year. All of the competitors are elementary and middle school students between seven and fourteen years of age.

Currently, the Lafayette track team boasts thirty-six competitors. Lyman said his largest contingency had been sixty-four students, but this year's team is a nice size.

"My kids graduate from Lafayette, go to Profile School, then come back and bring other junior high students to compete in the older age category," said Lyman.

The Gilbert R. Rhoades Memorial YMCA Track Meet started in 1934 in Lancaster and is held the second weekend in May. The 2019 event is slated for May 11. Lyman said volunteers are always appreciated and anyone interested in helping out can either contact Lafayette Regional School or the North Country YMCA.

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