New greyhound watches over Veterans Field

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Naugatuck Mayoral Aide Ed Carter checks out the new greyhound statue at Veterans Field at Naugatuck High School Oct. 25. Carter helped to raise money for the project by selling engraved bricks that are placed around the statue. –RA ARCHIVE
Naugatuck Mayoral Aide Ed Carter checks out the new greyhound statue at Veterans Field at Naugatuck High School Oct. 25. Carter helped to raise money for the project by selling engraved bricks that are placed around the statue. –RA ARCHIVE

NAUGATUCK — The new synthetic turf field at Naugatuck High School now has another upgrade: a gleaming new greyhound statue out front, a foot taller than its predecessor, with a refurbished brick pedestal and granite plaques.

“I think it’s great,” said Mayoral Aide Ed Carter, who worked with the Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation to fund the $5,000 project by selling the engraved bricks at the statue’s foot. “I think it’s something positive for our community. I enjoy when I come out here and see people reading it and realizing there’s some history here.”

The new statue was finished Oct. 22 after about two weeks of construction. The greyhound atop the old structure had been vandalized and the tail had broken off, probably because students used to climb up the pedestal and hang off it, Carter said. The new statue is tall enough to prevent students from climbing it, but they can still reach the dog to pet it, as the 2010 football team did before winning the Naugatuck Valley League championship.

“I’m glad we were able to get this up for this year’s Thanksgiving Day game,” Carter said.

Carter said he hoped the work done to the statue would make students respect it more and curb the vandalism.

O & G Industries Inc., the Torrington company working on an $81 million renovation of the entire school, laid the concrete base for the statue. Monarch Marble Granite Tile, based in Waterbury, refurbished the plaque from the original statue and placed three more plaques on each face of the base. One honors borough veterans, another bears the borough emblem and one was donated by the class of 1972 to commemorate the baseball team’s 64-game win streak.

Ciarlo Monumental Works in Waterbury also worked on designing and engraving the new statue. Emini Contracting, based in Middlebury, re-laid the engraved bricks.

One finishing touch remains. Carter said stone dust will be sprinkled atop the bricks and they will be sealed to create a shine.

Carter has sold about 250 bricks, at costs ranging from $100 to $280, and there is room to put many more around the pedestal. When space runs out, a slope up to the field could be built with engraved bricks, Carter said.

The brick fund has at least $5,000 left in it, which could be used for new sound systems or other upgrades to the upper and lower athletic fields at the high school, Carter said.

People have bought bricks to advertise companies and honor veterans and loved ones who have passed away. Graduating classes also donate bricks, and Carter said he wants one brick in honor of each athletic team that wins a championship.

To buy a brick or for more information, contact Carter at (203) 720-7208, Mayor Robert Mezzo’s office at (203) 720-7009 or visit www.naugatuck-ct.gov.