RANDOLPH – It’s more than just a basketball court.
It is a safe space, a gathering place and a place for children and adults of all ages to get out, exercise and be a part of their community, Randolph Police Sgt. Kinnon Ryan said.
And thanks to the collaboration of the police department and a local company, RG Asphalt and Concrete, the tribunal between Randolph High School and the city police station is new.
“We want to become part of the fabric of the community,” said Ryan, the department’s fitness coordinator, of the new paved terrain. “We are just happy that we can be the catalyst for change.”
Ryan knew the busy court needed a facelift when he ran into Ruben Acosta paving a lot in front of the police station. Then a plan was formed: Acosta would donate his time and equipment to resurface the basketball court, and the Police Department would use their annual Police Fitness Cup event to raise money for equipment for members of the strength.
The Police Department’s annual Police Fitness Cup doubles as a philanthropic endeavor. Participating officers donate to the cause of the year, for example by purchasing jackets for the children and helping the late Weymouth Police Sgt. Michael Chesna’s family after being shot and killed in 2018.
Acosta said he scrubbed the cracks in the court, filled them with hot rubber and cleaned the entire surface before sealing it. Last week he watched the officers gather in the field and handed out RG branded polo shirts as a gift.
The public basketball court, Ryan said, is “crowded” all the time, mostly by students from neighboring middle and high school. The field is a safe space for kids to hang out and play ball, which Ryan says is a big part of the effort to remake the pitch.
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Detective Michael Tuitt spray painted the rims of the basketball fluorescent orange as Detective Kristen Gagnon, a high school resource officer watched.
Gagnon said the students are designing a logo for the center of the new land.
“It will be an original design,” she said, noting that the Randolph schools mascot is the blue devil, and that the design may incorporate a similar motif.
The students can’t wait to get back to the field, said Detective Kevin Gilbert, the college’s resource manager.
Once the newly painted lines on the pitch are dry, it will be open to anyone who wants to play ball.
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Contact Alex Weliever at [email protected].