Brian Dick and the other board members of the Friends of the Tewksbury Community Athletic Complex heard the message sent by Tewksbury residents on Saturday.
It stung, to be sure. But Dick says the message came through loud and clear.
After voters shot down a ballot question seeking a $1.9 million debt exclusion to pay for an expanded athletic facility, the matching article is being pulled from the upcoming Annual Town Meeting Warrant.
"I'm not going to get up before the voters at Town Meeting with this or with any piece of this (proposal)," said Dick, a member of the Tewksbury School Committee and president of the FOTCAC.
Dick said that rather than try to get a pared down version of the field plan passed at Town Meeting, FOTCAC would focus its attention on grant applications, private fundraising and the pursuit of corporate sponsorships.
The athletic complex presently planned for the new high school will feature a grass field, a running track, concession stands, restrooms and seating for 500 fans.
The expanded plan would have included a scoreboard, at least 500 more seats, a multi-sport artificial turf field, a five-court tennis facility and lighting. Voters defeated the measure at Saturday's municipal election by a 2-1 margin.
"Yeah, it's definitely (difficult)," Dick said of the defeat. "It's something you put your whole self into. A lot of us spent almost two years on this."
Dick is steadfast that the expanded field plan is essential for Tewksbury, as it moves forward as a community.
"We're getting a 21st century high school and the field just isn't what it needs to be," he said. "It's not the 'Friends' that lost on Saturday or the seniors. It's the kids of Tewksbury that lost out, in my eyes."
Dick said the biggest challenge will be that the longer it takes to get the expanded field built, the higher the price tag will be. Part of that is due to increased cost for materials and part is due to the fact that if an artificial turf field after the complex is already completed, the track would need to be torn up and rebuild over the turf.