New Rochelle opens Fosina Field
New Rochelle christened the new, artificial surface at Fosina Field today. The city is in the process of renovating all of City (Flowers) Park, off of Fifth Avenue. A ceremony at midfield today marked the official opening of the newly re-built field. The whole project, which will encompass 21 acres, will cost about $9.8 million, money paid by a legacy grant from the county.
“Fosina Field is a welcome addition to the great variety of recreational fields in our county,” County Executive Robert P. Astorino said in a news release. “This park will become a great destination for athletes and fans. With the addition of playgrounds, hiking trails and basketball there will be something for everyone to do. I thank the Board of Legislators for its support of this project, as well as our partners in the City of New Rochelle.”
New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson said, “Once City Park is fully completed, this flagship athletic facility will provide recreational opportunities for thousands of residents, including more than 25 community-based organizations with over 200 teams, as well as our local schools and colleges. This outstanding legacy project is proof that even in challenging times we can come together to accomplish big things for the people of New Rochelle and Westchester County.”
New Legacy Program Soccer Field in Yorktown
Westchester County and the Town of Yorktown have opened a new state-of-the-art athletic field complex which has a synthetic turf field for soccer, lacrosse and football and a natural grass baseball field. This project was financed by the Westchester County Legacy Program. The new fields will be made available to all Copunty residents through the Yorktown Recreation Department.
May 6, 2011
New Turf Field Open for Play at Mamaroneck High School!
Mamaroneck High School students have been enjoying practicing this week on the new multi-purpose Memorial Field. Lacrosse players Peter Conley (sophomore), Sam Christiansen (senior), and\Thomas Brill (sophomore), pictured above, take a break during practice last evening to reflect on the field improvements since the previous season. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned as part of the field dedication events at 5:30 pm on Saturday, April 2nd. All community members are invited to attend.
LET THE GAMES BEGIN! NEW ALL-PURPOSE TURF ATHLETIC FIELD OPENS AT MAMARONECK HIGH SCHOOL
Field Dedication Events Planned for April 2 nd
MAMARONECK, NY, March 22, 2011 – The dream of a ‘home turf advantage’ is now reality for Mamaroneck Schools, which just last week opened the District’s first and only all-purpose synthetic turf athletic field at Mamaroneck High School. Community members are invited to attend a field dedication event to officially celebrate this grand opening of Memorial Field -- made possible through a public-private partnership -- on Saturday, April 2 nd at 5:30 pm
“The newly renovated state-of-the-art Memorial field is the result of an exemplary collaboration between our district and the very generous Larchmont-Mamaroneck community,” said Dr. Robert Shaps, who took over as Superintendent during the final stages of the flagship field’s renovations. ”This will be the most heavily used field of all our facilities. Our students and the community at large will enjoy this field for many years to come.”
The new all-weather Memorial Field is one of only three regulation-sized athletic fields on school property. It is the District’s only all-purpose field large enough to host varsity boys and girls lacrosse, field hockey, boys and girls soccer, track & field and football games. (The other two fields are used exclusively for baseball and softball.) The field will be used by more than 20 different school district teams, in addition to physical education classes, and community youth leagues; the field’s precision lighting adds a new dimension, including the ability to conduct evening practices and hold night games.
“We feel so lucky,” said senior Sam Christiansen last evening during lacrosse practice. “For years, this was a big dirt patch—and we could never play at night. On a rainy day like today, we’d have to wait three days for the field to dry out.” His fellow players agreed that having a consistent playing field right on campus has huge benefits. “Boys and girls can have practice here on the same day. It saves us money so we don’t have to rent out Flint Park for practices,” Christiansen added. “And it builds a sense of community at the school.”
The grand re-opening of Memorial Field represents the completion of phase I of the district’s long-range field renovation plan. Phase 1 included reorienting the field and installing a resilient synthetic turf surface that will be able to withstand heavy use every day. This phase also included demolition of the previous site; installation of drainage; installation of lights, and new bleachers that can be moved to the visitors’ side when permanent bleachers are eventually constructed. Future phases would include the installation of a large oval track around the turf field; permanent, larger bleachers; and a press box, concession stand, and restroom facilities.
The Phase One funding breakdown of the field included:
- District contribution of $500,000, approved by voters in 2004 for this project.
- Donation to the district of $855,000 from Larchmont-Mamaroneck Fields for Kids. This included generous contributions from more than 500 private donors; and significant donations from the Larchmont Junior Soccer League, Larchmont Mamaroneck Youth Lacrosse, Mamaroneck Youth Football League, and Larchmont Mamaroneck Little League. A generous gift from the family of Rudolph and Alix Laager made the installation of the lights possible during this phase.
- Pledge of $250,000 from Assemblyman George Latimer and the State of New York.
- Donation of the new scoreboard and sound system from Mamaroneck Schools Foundation.
- Demolition services donated by community member Joe Naclerio and his company Greenline Industries (an estimated cost savings to the District of $56,000).
Several games are scheduled to take place on the turf on Saturday, April 2 nd , including JV Girls Lacrosse (11 am, vs. Yonkers), JV Boys Lacrosse (4 pm, vs. Ardsley), Varsity Girls Lacrosse (1 pm, vs. Yonkers) and Varsity Boys Lacrosse (7 pm, vs. Ardsley). A ribbon-cutting ceremony beginning at 5:30 pm will include entertainment provided by student groups, short remarks by those instrumental to the success in bringing this field to fruition, and an unveiling of the new placement of the Rainaldi plaque in memory of former Mamaroneck teacher/coach/administrator Michael “Butch” Rainaldi. All community members are invited to attend.
March 22, 2011
Debbie Manetta, 914.220.3070
New Castle OKs second soccer field for Amsterdam Park
By Elizabeth Ganga • The Journal News • December 3, 2010
NEW CASTLE — The transformation of a former estate in the west end of town into a sports-oriented park will be complete over the next year or so now that the Town Board has approved a contract for a second soccer and lacrosse
field at Amsterdam Park.
Sports organizations have long argued that the town needs more fields to accommodate booming programs and were disappointed by a decision in 2008 to build only one field on the 13-acre property bought by the town in 1998 from IBM. After meeting with town leaders they were able to get the support of the Town Board for a second field.
"I think it will be a great addition to our inventory of fields," said John Re, a soccer coach, American Youth Soccer Organization board member and chairman of the town’s Recreation Commission. "We are so pressed for fields on a week-to-week basis something had to happen."
To deal with the shortage, AYSO was renting fields at SUNY Purchase.
"It will certainly alleviate some of the issue," Re said, adding that it will also allow better maintenance of the fields. The new field at Amsterdam Park on Hoag Cross Road will be the town’s eighth sports field.
The Town Board approved the contract with Vernon Hills Contracting for $330,120. Recreation Superintendent Robert Snyder said if possible, the work will begin this winter.
"I would like, in a perfect world, to have the field available next fall," he said. If it’s not quite ready for play, it will have to wait till spring 2012.
The first field and the park infrastructure, including restrooms, a playground, electrical connections, the road and parking, cost $1,151,010. A second field in the contract would have been about $200,000 more, officials said.
Concerns about traffic to the park in combination with plans by the Upper Westchester Muslim Society to build a 24,690-square-foot mosque and Islamic center on more than 8 acres nearby drove the earlier decision to build only one field.
The Town Board was at one point considering putting eight affordable apartments on the Amsterdam property along with the fields but dropped those plans in 2003 amid intense neighborhood opposition.
Mamaroneck Schools Break Ground on Artificial Turf Field
The Mamaroneck schools held a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday afternoon, July 29, to officially kick off renovations to Mamaroneck High School’s flagship athletic field and to celebrate progress on the MHS Memorial Field Project 2010, a joint initiative between the district and private fundraising from the community.
Superintendent Dr. Robert Shaps, who began his tenure with the Mamaroneck School District earlier this month, said, “It’s exciting to think about the wonderful collaboration that took place to make this happen, and I’m pleased to have the opportunity to see the project through for the benefit of our students and the entire Larchmont-Mamaroneck community in the years to come.”
Dr. Shaps applauded the community’s generosity in stepping up to the plate to cover the costs of the project at a time when the district was not able to do so. He said it’s important that the community understand that no additional district monies were set aside in the current budget for the field. A total of $500,000 had already been approved by voters in 2004 for this project, and New York Assemblyman George Latimer pledged an additional $250,000 in state funding towards it. The remaining dollars came solely from private fundraising led by Fields for Kids and the local youth sports leagues.
The Mamaroneck School District broke ground on renovations for Memorial Field at the high school: (l-r) front: Jim Hanley, of Fields for Kids; Superintendent Dr. Bob Shaps; School Board Trustee Linnet Tse. Back: Mamaroneck Village Mayor Norm Rosenblum, Athletic Director Bari Suman.
The public-private partnership to renovate Memorial Field consists of a phased in plan, with the existing natural grass field being reoriented in the first phase and replaced with a more resilient synthetic turf surface that will be able to withstand the heavy use it endures every day from team sports and physical education classes. Also in the first phase is demolition of the bleachers, press box and maintenance building; installation of drainage; preparation for future installation of lights, and installation of new temporary bleachers that will be moved to the visitors’ side when permanent bleachers are funded. The demolition services have been donated by community member Joe Naclerio and his company Greenline Industries (for an estimated cost savings to the district of $56,000).
The new field is expected to be complete and ready for use in October. The athletic department has been working with local municipalities and other school districts to be able to use their fields for practices and games during the construction period, in order to minimize disruption to the fall sports season.
“Wheels are in motion to ensure that all team operations run as smoothly as possible. Districts use other fields all the time when they’re going through updates to their own facilities. I’m happy to say that now it’s our turn, and our neighboring teams have been most cooperative thus far,” said Bari Suman, director of health, physical education and athletics. “The inconveniences now will pay off later when we have a fabulous varsity-sized, multi-purpose field to play on.”
The district announced at a board meeting last week that the field work project bids have been awarded. Site work is anticipated to begin next week.
"Friends of Pelham Sports" Formed, With Turf Field One of Its Goals
"Friends of Pelham Sports" Formed, With Turf Field One of Its Goals
The Pelham Weekly, March 5, 2010
Citing “increasing fiscal pressures on state, local and School Board budgets,” Pelham residents representing a wide cross-section of the community have formed a new organization named “Friends of Pelham Sports” to raise money privately to improve sports and recreational facilities in the Town of Pelham. One of the group’s goals is to fund the construction of the first turf field in the community, ideally at the Glover Field complex.
Formation of the new group was announced this week. It was emphasized that a turf field is not the only project the group would fund through a nonprofit it is organizing in order to accept tax deductible donations.
In 2008, Pelham voters defeated a bond referendum proposing that taxpayers fund two turf fields. At the time, opponents of the turf field proposal cited health and safety reasons, the cost ($2,745,000) of the project and its continued maintenance as well as the estimated 7-10 years it could be used before having to be replaced. Proponents cited how turf fields would result in fewer rainouts and lead to improved scheduling of school and town sports programs using the fields. Since that vote, there have been dozens of turf fields installed in surrounding communities and several studies endorsing the safety of such fields.
Any funds raised for a turf field or any other sports project by “Friends of Pelham Sports” would have to be accepted in a vote by the Pelham Board of Education, just as are donations from the Pelham Education Foundation, PTAs or other groups. The Board of Education oversees most of the athletic field space in Pelham for school athletic programs. Additionally, town government administers community recreation programs that use the fields.
Tim Cassidy, president of “Friends of Pelham Sports,” said, “With increasing fiscal pressures on state, local and School Board budgets, there is a need for an organization that can raise money privately to support improvements to our recreational programs and facilities.” Mr. Cassidy, who grew up in Pelham, has lived with his wife, Carolyn, in Pelham for more than 17 years. They are the parents of children who have been active in lacrosse, football, soccer, basketball and field hockey.
“We intend to raise this money privately,” said Tom Walsh, a Board member. “This turf field will be the first of many projects. We can fix baseball diamonds, tennis courts; create walking trails, and more. We can change our community for the better.”
Dennis Roche, vice president of the group, said research has been done over the last few months to determine the best way to proceed with “Friends of Pelham Sports.”
“We have studied and modeled the organization on other groups in the immediate region that have successfully raised needed funds to support sports and recreational activities for the youth of their communities,” he said. Mr. Roche and his wife, Julie, have lived in Pelham for more than a decade and have four sons who are active in soccer, basketball and baseball.
According to Vinny Mazzaro, the group’s treasurer, “one of the first things you notice when you travel to recreational events in surrounding towns is that other local communities are providing their youth with superior recreation facilities, particularly for high school sports.” Mr. Mazzaro and his wife, Cathy, have lived in Pelham for 16 years and have five children who have played baseball, lacrosse, hockey and soccer.
“Glover is a wonderful facility that suffers tremendous use throughout much of the year,” Mr. Mazzaro said. “We hope the entire community of Pelham will embrace our efforts to make it even better so it will reflect the quality of our community and our dedication to our youth.”
While turfing Glover field is a high priority for the group, the organization’s goal is to be a long-term presence in the community and to fund important improvements for the foreseeable future. To that end, the group’s sevenmember volunteer Board is forming an Advisory Committee that already has nearly three dozen members representing organizations and programs throughout Pelham. It also is widening its reach to all who are interested or want to help.
Following months of study, planning and preparation by the Board, the Advisory Committee held an organizational meeting on Feb. 28 at Daronco Town House. Some 30 people attended the meeting.
“Pelham is a wonderful community to live in; we think the opportunities for our children should reflect that,” said Kristin Barsanti, the group’s Community Relations Director. She and her husband, Peter, have three children who play soccer, football and baseball in Pelham.
The founders of “Friends of Pelham Sports” believe that its challenges go beyond raising money privately. “We already have assembled a large group, members of which have begun informal conversations with a variety of public officials to emphasize how important we consider this initiative to be,” said Blake Bell, the group’s secretary. He and his wife, Janice Ingram, have lived in Pelham for more than a decade and have two children who play baseball, soccer, softball and lacrosse. “We need the help of many of our elected officials to make this happen for the benefit of the Town and its young people.”
Tom Walsh, another member of the Board, and his wife, Nancy, have lived in Pelham for nine years. They have three children who have played baseball, football, lacrosse, soccer and basketball. Board member Dwight Fairback and his wife, Kristen, moved to Pelham in 2008 and have a son who plays football, soccer, basketball, lacrosse and baseball.
The “Friends of Peham Sports” announcement also said: “In the short time since that vote (defeating the turf field proposal), there have been dozens of turf fields installed in surrounding communities and several major studies endorsing the safety of such fields. Indeed, with turf fields in Yonkers, New Rochelle, Bronxville, Eastchester, Harrison, Scarsdale, the Bronx and, soon to be unveiled, in Mt. Vernon, Pelham now stands out—for the wrong reasons. Despite the Herculean efforts of many to maintain and repair the unavoidable damage suffered by Pelham playing fields subjected to inordinately heavy use throughout the year, Friends of Pelham Sports believes that more can be done with the right initiatives and broad cooperation. Friends of Pelham Sports is working hard to help.”
John Jay HS to get New Athletic Fields
Katonah-Lewisboro spending resolution passes
Mamaroneck HS Field Fundraising is Completed
Turf Field is Coming to MHS
Mamaroneck High School is on track to get its new synthetic turf field, or an “all-weather field,” as it is now being called.
At the school board study session on November 3, Superintendent Dr. Paul Fried signed a memorandum of understanding with Fields for Kids, which met the goal of raising $615,000 by November 1.(See: 500 Families Help FFK Meet Goal for Turf Field.)
Superintendent Dr. Paul Fried signs a memorandum of understanding with Fields for Kids, represented by Jim Hanley (at right) and Kevin Danehy (standing).
The funds raised through community donations will be placed in an escrow account until the project is approved by the New York State Education Department (NYSED). At that time, the school district will formally accept the donation.
After approval by the state, the community monies will be combined with $500,000 approved by voters in 2004 for high school fields work, and $250,000 in state funds pledged by Assemblyman George Latimer in 2006. School Board Vice President Rick Marsico described the field project as “a great example of a public-private partnership.”
Jim Hanley and Kevin Danehy were on hand from Fields for Kids to sign the memo of understanding. Mr. Hanley noted that there will be “lots of kids” and other supporters at the November 17 board meeting for the presentation of a symbolic “big check.” But, he said, the “real celebration will be in September 2010,” when the field opens.
Close to 500 Families Help FFK Meet Goal for Turf Field
Close to 500 families contributed to the effort, according to Jim Hanley, FFK president. A number of donations were in the $1000 to $10,000 range, and then “many, many families contributed $25, $50 or $100.”
“The window for fundraising was extremely short,” explained Mr. Hanley. The effort only kicked off on September 26. “But the demand for this field renovation has been building for over a decade, so people were ready and waiting to give.” (See: Fields for Kids Kicks Off Effort to Raise $465K by Nov 1.)
Kevin Danehy, the Project 2010 leader, admitted that raising nearly half a million dollars in a little over a month seemed like a formidable challenge. “But we were confident we could do it because we were building on a solid foundation of funds.
He explained that the school district already had $500,000 set aside for MHS field work, George Latimer had pledged $250,000 in State Assembly grants to the project, the Larchmont Junior Soccer League had pledged $100,000, and Larchmont-Mamaroneck Youth Lacrosse had pledged $50,000. “This project had great momentum by the time we kicked off the community-wide campaign.”
“People like to give to something that is going to happen, “ agreed Suzanne Despins, FFK’s fundraising chair. “We are thrilled and grateful that so many people from every corner of the community rallied around this project so quickly.”
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Fried was delighted to hear about the success of the fundraising campaign. “I am extremely excited about the educational benefits that an all-weather field will bring to the children of this community,” he said. “I want to thank Fields for Kids and everyone associated with this wonderful collaboration, as well as the School Board for its insightful leadership in making this possible. I sincerely appreciate the community-wide effort that will have long-term benefits for the children and community in the years to come.”
The ceremonial “big check” will be handed over to Dr. Fried and the Board of Education at the school board meeting on Tuesday, November 17th. The total amount of the check will be for $615,000. It will include the $465,00 just raised plus $150,000 from Larchmont Junior Soccer League and Larchmont Mamaroneck Youth Lacrosse. The Mamaroneck Midget Football League also made a meaningful donation to the fundraising campaign; and Larchmont Mamaroneck Little League contributed as well.
Knowing that the funds are in hand, the Mamaroneck School District can now officially begin the process of renovating the field by next fall. This will include detailed construction drawings, approval by the State Education Department, and construction bids. Ground breaking is expected to take place in early June, with a ribbon cutting projected for early September.
Mr. Danehy reiterated the collaborative nature of Project 2010. “This public-private partnership is a great team effort by the school district, community volunteers, the local sports organizations, and the hundreds of families who have contributed so generously.”
Mr. Hanley concluded: “Savoring the fundraising achievement is sweet, but we all look forward to the real celebration…watching the kids in our community play on a safe, all-weather field next September.”
Katonah-Lewisboro School District to Vote on New Fields
Board of Education Passes Resolution Allowing Public to Vote on Athletic Field and Cultural Arts Improvements Project
The Board of Education of the Katonah-Lewisboro Union Free School District voted on October 20, 2009 to put forth a public referendum on December 8, 2009. If this referendum passes, it will authorize the use of Capital Reserve funds to renovate the existing John Jay High School baseball field, develop a new softball field and rectangular turf field at AP Farm Athletic Fields, and improve conditions of the facilities used by student musicians. This referendum follows the community’s vote in March 2009 to establish and fund a $3.15 million Capital Reserve.
The proposed project for athletics and the arts would be funded entirely with monies in the Capital Reserve Fund and would satisfy the requirements of local philanthropists Adam Rose and Peter McQuillan, who stipulated that their gift of 8+ acres of land adjacent to the John Jay High School was to be used for the purpose of developing AP Farm Athletic Fields.
The referendum is based on discussions and meetings over the past several years and the recommendations of the Field Advisory Network, a committee which included Board members, design professionals, and community members with expertise in finance, construction and athletic programming. Public perspectives were also shared over the past several months in a series of community forums. During those forums, Assistant Superintendent for Business Michael Jumper and Director of Athletics, Physical Education, Health and Wellness Christian McCarthy presented information as to the District's historical and well documented need for additional fields, how the project would be funded, and what the completed project would entail.
Michael Gordon, President of the Board of Education, thanked the community for their participation and input during the months leading up to last night's resolution. Mr Gordon also thanked the John Jay High School Campus Congress, which reviewed and gave feedback on the proposals the Board considered. Campus Congress voted unanimously in support of the proposed project. On behalf of the Board, Mr. Gordon thanked Campus Congress for the hard work they put into studying the various proposals and providing thoughtful comments.
The proposed project would only use funds available in the Capital Reserve Fund. There would be no new taxes and no bond to pay for the proposed project. Board member Eve Hundt noted that the proposed project is a "scaled-back" version of a more ambitious field improvement plan that had been considered a few years ago, but was substantially reduced in view of the current fiscal climate. On the cost front, the District expects that it will be able to take advantage of current market conditions to procure competitive construction bids.
If the community approves the referendum, the following are key components of construction that are expected to begin in fall 2010:
• Construction of a natural grass softball field at the AP Farm Athletic Fields in compliance with the interscholastic sectional regulations,
• Renovation and regrading of the existing high school baseball field to conform to interscholastic section standards,
• Development of a rectangular multipurpose turf field with environmentally friendly in-fill at AP Farm site,
• Construction of a restroom facility and landscaping at AP Farm Athletic Fields site, and
• Installation of air conditioning in the band and chorus rooms and hallways for climate control and installation of musical instrument storage lockers at John Jay high school.
The total estimated cost of the referendum is $3,128,927. There will be $21,073 in unused Capital Reserve Funds set aside for future use.
The following is the resolution that will be voted upon by the community on Tuesday, December 8, 2009 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.:
Shall the Board of Education be authorized to expend out of the Capital Reserve Fund, established and funded on March 17, 2009, a sum not to exceed $3,128,927, for the purpose of installing a new synthetic turf field, natural grass field (ex. Softball Field), backstops, players’ areas, and a restroom/storage facility, on the AP Farm Athletic Fields, renovation of the existing baseball field at the John Jay High School (including but not limited to field grading, and improvements to field drainage systems); renovation of the HVAC system in the performing arts area of the John Jay High School to include air conditioning; installation of storage casework for musical instruments and related band/orchestra items; all of the foregoing to include all labor, materials, equipment, apparatus and incidental costs, and further providing that the detailed costs of the components of the above-referenced projects may be reallocated among such components if the Board of Education shall determine that such reallocation is in the best interest of the District.
Additional information is posted and will continue to be added to the Katonah-Lewisboro School District Web site; please check www.klschools.org for more information.
2009 October - BOE Passes Resolution for Vote.pdf
Mt. Vernon approves $20.7M borrowing for new Memorial Field stadium
MOUNT VERNON - The City Council has taken a big step toward building a new sports area at Memorial Field with the approval of $20.7 million in borrowing.
The city will issue $2.3 million in bonds to pay for parking, open space improvements and construction at Memorial Field, whose 1930 stadium near the Pelham border is a local landmark to many who patronize the shopping center across Sanford Boulevard.
The old stadium will be razed next year to make way for a sports complex, which will include an illuminated synthetic-turf football/soccer field; natural-turf illuminated soccerfield; grandstands for 4,000; eight-lane track; and an illuminated basketball court.
The new buildings will include a ticket booth, concession stand, bathrooms and locker rooms.
The county's Westchester Legacy fund will pay for $9.7 million of the complex, with the city responsible for the balance of the total, estimated at $10.7 million by the city and $12.7 million by the county.
The council approved the borrowing at its Wednesday meeting, not long after county and city officials gathered Oct. 7 at Memorial Field to kick off preparations for the old stadium's demolition.
The new complex will serve city and county residents through an agreement for the county to lease the park from the city and contribute funds for the project.
In addition to spending on Memorial Field, the City Council voted to borrow an additional $18.4 million for a long list of improvement projects. The funds will pay for the renovation of various playgrounds, the Dole Center, the Armory, Fire Station 3 and other municipal buildings.
The bonds will also pay for street paving and sewer projects, fire-fighting equipment and municipal technology systems.
Fundraising Launched for Mamaroneck HS Turf Field
Larchmont-Mamaroneck Fields for Kids, the non-profit fundraising group that successfully raised $1,500,000 for the Flint Park Turf Field and park renovation project, has launched a fundraising campaign for a new Turf Field at Mamaroneck High School. This new project, a multi-purpose soccer/football/lacrosse field at Mamaroneck High School, already has $900,000 committed, or about 2/3s of the total project cost. Fields for Kids is seeking to raise the remaining $465,000 from families and other donors. For more information, visit www.fieldsforkidsmamk.org.
September 26, 2009
Groundbreaking for New Soccer Fields in Yonkers
Groundbreaking for Yonkers projects
YONKERS - More quality playing space will soon be available in the City of Yonkers, thanks to three new major rehabilitation projects that kicked off with a groundbreaking today, Wednesday, at Pelton Field. County Executive Andy Spano was joined by Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone, county legislators Jose Alvarado and Ken Jenkins and other county and city officials and guests in announcing the projects, which are designed to enhance the city’s recreational offerings.
“These three parks in Yonkers, all of which are in need of improvement, will become modern, all-weather athletic facilities for people of all ages and varied sports interests,” Spano said. “I thank legislators Alvarado and Jenkins and the rest of the board for helping to get this project off the ground, and I look forward to working with Mayor Amicone and the city as we create and operate these new facilities. Quality outdoor spaces are essential to our local communities and to the county, and I am sure that everyone will be quite pleased with the results.”
Alvarado said, “I remember playing at Pelton and Fleming parks as a teenager. Today, I represent the areas where both these parks exist. Playing space for soccer teams is at a premium countywide. Teams have to compete against each other not only on the field but also off the field for playing times. This project should ease the demand significantly. I look forward to these upgrades so that children and teens can enjoy the use of these greatly improved facilities.”
Jenkins said that the skate park initiative came about because of some very persuasive young people. “The skateboarders presented a petition to City Council with several hundred signatures,” said Jenkins. “Because of their initiative, the County Board felt they had to do all they could to pull the resources together for a skate park."
Mayor Amicone said, “The Yonkers Parks Department works hard to provide great recreational facilities, programs and activities. We are very pleased to be working with Westchester County on these exciting projects that will not only enhance our city, but also benefit all county residents.”
Pelton Field’s existing natural turf baseball/softball field and soccer field will be replaced by artificial turf fields. The artificial turf fields will include a full-size baseball field (90 ft. bases), a Little League field (60 ft. bases), and a multi-purpose rectangular field for soccer, lacrosse and field hockey (180ft. x 300ft.), set in the outfield of both baseball fields.
The other two projects being kicked off at Wednesday’s ceremony are the construction of a skateboarding park at the city’s E.J. Murray Memorial Skating Center and new ballfields at Fleming Field.
A specially created $7.2 million county capital project fund will pay for the three projects. Under an inter-municipal agreement with Westchester County, the city will be responsible for maintenance, operation and scheduling. The facilities will be open to all county residents.
Four Natural Grass Soccer Fields Completed on Randall's Island
The Randall's Island Sports Foundation and NYC Parks Department have completed four more soccer fields on the south end of Randall's Island. Called the "Central Fields", these natural grass fields will be the first fields you see after driving south of Icahn Stadium (on the way to the Kantor Fields or East River Fields further south). These fields are part of the long term Sports Field Development Project that has been underway since 2007.
Fields 50 and 51 are dedicated soccer fields with no overlap with baseball fields. Fields 52 and 54 overlap the outfield of baseball field #53, so on those fields its either soccer or baseball, but not both at the same time.
Dobbs Ferry Waterfront Park Open for Soccer
Pursuant to a long term Version Plan developed in 2006, the Village of Dobbs Ferry has completed the construction of "The Great Lawn" at the north end of Waterfront Park. Located on landfill and protected by stone faced riprap, this location offers unbelievable views up and down the scenic Hudson River. This area will be used as a general purpose athletic field for youth and recreational sports including soccer, as well as for other Village events. The multi-purpose Great Lawn concept was inspired by the work of Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of both Central Park and Prospect Park.
The ADFH (Ardsley-Dobbs Ferry-Hastings) United Soccer Club will play games at Waterfront Park beginning in September 2009.
Valhalla High School Completes Field Renovation
Valhalla High School has reopened its primary soccer/football field after completing a series of long awaited improvements. The field was out of service for construction all last fall and this spring season. A synthetic turf surface was installed several years ago, but budgetary issues prevented until this year the resurfacing of the track surounding the field and the renovation of the bleachers. The construction of these final components of the facility was recently completed, and the field has been reopened to school and youth sports teams. The field has lights for evening play.
Mamaroneck High School Have Turf Field by Fall 2010
Melany Gray, posted on July 9, 2009 (Larchmont Gazette)
A new, synthetic turf field funded through a public-private partnership could be installed at Mamaroneck High School as early as Labor Day 2010. That was the surprise news at the Mamaroneck School Board’s July 7 meeting, a session typically reserved for routine business.
Another deviation from the routine was the introduction of Joanne Hindley, the new assistant principal for Central School.
Field Work - A Long History
The need for additional playing fields was identified nearly ten years ago, noted board president Linnet Tse in her report from the ad hoc field committee. Efforts to add fields since then have been slowed by the Kemper Park litigation, extensive community debate, environmental reviews and the economic downturn.
The school board included a comprehensive fields proposal, known as Plan C, in the $38 million bond referendum that failed in February. Priced at $7.7 million, Plan C included work on two MHS fields and one at Central School.
The subsequent $22.1 “bare bones” bond passed in May, but excluded all field work.
After a Failed Bond, Possible Phasing of Field Work
Since then, the field committee, comprised of Ms. Tse and fellow board members Rick Marsico and Robin Nichinsky, have been exploring options for phasing in the field work in stages.
The resulting “Concept Plan C Modified” would cost $1.7 million for a first phase at Memorial Field. It includes reorienting the field and installing synthetic turf. The existing bleachers and a maintenance storage building would be removed and replaced with new storage and much smaller bleachers. Other features are left out, but could be added later. These include lights (although electrical conduits will be laid), the proposed track circling the new field, permanent bleachers with storage and concessions underneath and reconfigured parking.
Ms. Tse explained that the board “wanted to preserve our options for the future.” By positioning the new field so it can be encircled by a track, the district preserves the ability to move the existing track from Manchester Field, making room for an additional field there.
A Private-Public Partnership for Funding
Several community groups would partner with the district to fund the new field. And if donations are received by November of this year, the field could be ready by September of 2010, said Meryl Rubinstein, assistant superintendent for business operations.
Jim Hanley, president of Fields for Kids, said his organization would raise a minimum of $400,000 for the effort. Sid Ings, president of the Larchmont Junior Soccer League, said his board had approved using the $100,000 pledged for the full plan in phase 1 of the modified plan.
Kevin McCarthy, speaking for Larchmont-Mamaroneck Youth Lacrosse, said his board was interested in partnering on the project. He asked if the $450,000 for bleachers and the new maintenance building could be reduced, however. This was something the board agreed should be reconsidered.
Superintendent Paul Fried noted the district needed to consider requirements for a varsity field with spectators. But Mr. Hanley countered that the 175 seat bleachers at the new Flint Park turf field has accommodated crowds for varsity games of soccer, lacrosse and field hockey. Many spectators brought lawn chairs, he said.
Mr. Hanley encouraged the board to make sufficient reductions to get the new field opened for play. Drawing on the famous quote from Field of Dreams, he said, “If you build it, they will continue to donate.”
What About the Rest of the Money?
The district already has $500,000 in its coffers that was earmarked in for fields work in 2004, under a plan that would have moved the Kemper Memorial.
An additional $250,000 is still available from state funds secured in 2006 by Assemblyman George Latimer.
The $750,000 on hand plus $500,000 committed by private groups - a total of $1,250,000 - leaves the district almost $500,000 short of preliminary estimates for phase 1.
There is no line in the 2009-2010 budget for funding the project, explained Ms. Rubinstein. Although funds could come through a bond or in a subsequent budget, there was no further discussion of these possibilities. Further, Ms. Tse noted, the board could not participate in any fundraising and would have to assess whether to accept donations.
However, cutting back on the maintenance building and renting temporary bleachers might lower costs and help close the gap. All the board members expressed enthusiasm for the idea of a public-private partnership and the opportunity to move towards increasing field capacity.
Environmental Review and Issues
No additional environmental review would be needed for the modified plan, explained Ms. Rubinstein, because the full fields project had already been reviewed. State review and approval would be needed once financing for the new project was in place.
Ms. Tse reiterated the board’s commitment to using a lead-free product for the synthetic turf. The infill would not be crumb rubber and would not be black.
New information on the safety of synthetic turf is available from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Department of Health and can be found on the school district website.
Sunken Garden Turf Fields Open for Play on Randall's Island
The Randall's Island Sports Foundation and NYC Parks Department have completed two more synthetic turf fields on Randall's Island. Fields 90 and 91 are located near the south end of the complex just north of the East Meadow fields that WYSL teams have been playing games on for two seasons. These fields are the 10th and 11th synthetic turf fields that have been completed as part of the Randall's Island Sports Field Development Project begun in 2007. Several natural grass soccer fields are still underconstruction, as are a number of baseball fields.
Rye signs lease for athletic field site; still needs $2.5 million to develop it
Rye signs lease for athletic field site; still needs $2.5 million to develop it
By Theresa Juva • TJuva@LoHud.com • July 8, 2009
RYE - The city has secured 5 acres from the state Thruway Authority in hope of turning it into an athletic field
Mayor Steve Otis said the city has signed a 15-year lease and will pay $1 a year for the first two years and $30,000 annually after that. "This has been a priority of mine since I took office, adding athletic fields," he said.
The Boston Post Road site, near Cedar Street, would be the 10th field in the city, which the mayor said has seen a huge increase in the number of children playing lacrosse, soccer and field hockey.
The city had wanted to purchase the land about 10 years ago, but the state refused. The site has sat vacant since the 1980s, when the authority stopped using it for an Interstate 95 ramp.
Mayoral candidate Doug French, who is also chairman of the Rye Recreation Commission, said the land would cost $2.5 million to redevelop.
The money will come from private donations in the community, and French said with the national recession, it’s unclear when the transformation will happen.
"When you lay out facts to the community, they will help shape the investment we make and the direction we take," French said.
Otis was more optimistic.
"We have an opportunity here to build a field we really need," the mayor said. "I think the community has stepped up to plate before for expanded recreational needs. We’re going to get it done."
New Rochelle Rebuilds Skidelsky Field at City Park
The City of New Rochelle has received a grant to rebuild the Skidelsky soccer field at City Park. This park and its athletic fields were damaged by flooding. The construction has begun on a new drainage system and all-weather synthetic turf surface. The field is expected to be back in service for the fall 2009 season.
The new soccer field will be more playable and attractive, and will also feature a subsurface retention chamber to help control flooding in the surrounding area. The City obtained funding for this project from the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) following the nor'easter of April 2007. The Skidelsky Field reconstruction kicks off the anticipated larger renovation of City Park as a whole.
As an interesting side note, the City received an unusually large number of bids for this job — fifteen — with the accepted bid coming in well below expectations. More intense competition for municipal contracts may prove to be one of the few silver linings in this bleak economy.
Town of New Castle Opens Amsterdam Park Soccer Field
The Town of New Castle has opened a new natural grass full sized soccer field at Amsterdam Park, located on Hogg Cross Road. Plans to utilize this town property took several years to finalize, and a decision was reached two years ago to proceed with a natural grass soccer field and related facilities. In additon to the 11 v 11 field with built-in sprinklers, the park has environmentally friendly parking and restroom facilities. There is also a playground for young children.
New Field at Van Cortlandt Park
The New York City Parks Department has completed the renovation of the Van Cortlandt Park Stadium. What was formerly a hard packed dirt field with very little grass is now a completely new synthetic turf all-weather field that is lined for soccer and football. This field serves as a home field for teams from the Riverdale Youth Soccer Club and the Bronx Youth Soccer Club, and players and coaches from those clubs have given rave reviews about this improvement.
The Parks Department is also in the process of a significant field renovation project at the north end of Van Cortlandt Park. Numerous soccer, baseball and cricket fields will be installed in the parade ground area. This project is underway and is expected to be completed in late 2009.
Asphalt Green Installs New Soccer Field
Asphalt Green’s new, state-of-the-art FieldTurf field is here! The work is nearly complete, but they are still seeking donations for the $2.3 million field renovation campaign. This field annually accommodates more than 79,000 visits for team sports and instructional programs in soccer, football, baseball, softball, lacrosse, and field hockey. During the summer it is used every day by the 700 children who attend Asphalt Green’s popular day camp. Members of the public who access it for running and recreational activities as well as community organizations that borrow the field account for another 100,000 visits each year.
Show your support! Donations can be made as part of a sponsorship or individually. Please contact Asphalt Green’s Director of Development Molly Honigsfeld at 646-981-2230 or at email@example.com for more information. Asphalt Green is a 501(c)3 organization based on a 5 acre sports and training campus in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Seven Asphalt Green soccer teams are playing in the WYSL during the Spring 2009 season.
March 29, 2009
Six Wards Meadow Soccer Fields Now Open on Randall's Island
The Randall’s Island Sports Foundation and the City of New York have annouced that six new soccer fields will be opening for service in the spring of 2009. These fields, called the Wards Meadow Fields, are located at the southeast corner of Randall’s Island. The fields are a combination of natural grass fields with irregation systems and all-weather synthetic turf fields. These fields are numbered Randall’s #70 to #75.
The Randall’s Island Sports Foundation has been referbishing all of the athletic fields on Randall’s Island, and information can be obtained at www.risf.org. Donations to this effort are welcome.
Wards Meadow Fields 74 & 75 ready for play:
Westchester Legislators Announce Renovation Plan for Yonkers Parks
By Ernie Garcia
The Journal News • January 13, 2009
YONKERS - The Westchester County Board of Legislators has announced plans for the county to spend $7.2 million for improvements to three city parks.
The money will be used to repair and upgrade ball fields at Pelton Field and Fleming Park, as well as create a new skate park at the Edward J. Murray Memorial Skating Center.
The county’s first step in the project was the approval of a $650,000 bond to pay for the projects’ design and construction management. The county will then issue construction bonds once the designs are ready.
Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone praised the legislators’ actions.
"Fleming Field and Murray Rink are among our most used parks facilities. Unfortunately, heavy use over the years has worn their condition," Amicone said in a statement.
Pelton Field, a busy 3.1-acre park that draws hundreds of soccer and baseball players and spectators on summer weekends, will get artificial-turf fields to replace the natural turf. Pelton’s new design will include adult and Little League baseball fields and a rectangular field for soccer, lacrosse or field hockey.
There will also be a small parking lot, new bleachers and renovated bathrooms at Pelton.
Fleming Park will get new artificial turf on the upper level of the 3.75-acre field. The new turf will accommodate various baseball and soccer fields, and there will also be new bleachers, fencing, walkways and landscaping.
The new skate park at the Murray center will be built in a portion of the facility’s parking lot. It will have bleachers and modular ramps.
County to give $9.7 million to repair Mount Vernon's Memorial Field
MOUNT VERNON - Plans to renovate the historic red-brick stadium and playing surfaces at Memorial Field grew closer to reality this week, as Westchester County officials agreed to commit millions to the effort.
The county Board of Legislators approved $1.3 million in borrowing for the design of the project at a meeting Monday, part of a larger county commitment of $9.7 million to renovate the Mount Vernon sports facility.
"In the future, not only residents of Mount Vernon, but also Pelham and surrounding areas will have the opportunity to have a great state-of-the-art facility that will host regional tournaments and games," said Larry Schwartz, Westchester’s deputy county executive.
The county earmarked the funding through its Legacy Program, which was created in 2001 to preserve and enhance green spaces. Memorial Field will be open to all Westchester residents as long as financing by the county continues, but will be operated and managed by the Mount Vernon Department of Recreation.
Renovations at Memorial Field have been talked about for years, but the project picked up steam recently with the elections of county Legislator Lyndon Williams and Mount Vernon Mayor Clinton Young, who highlighted the park project in their campaigns.
The improvement plan calls for the demolition of existing structures, grandstands and courts. In its place, the plan calls for a synthetic turf football and soccer field, a natural turf soccer field, grandstands for 4,000 spectators, an all-weather track and a basketball court.
The plan also includes new buildings to house a ticket booth, a concession stand, bathrooms, press box and locker rooms, as well as new sidewalks, landscaping and lighting. The whole project is expected to cost around $12.7 million.
Mount Vernon residents say renovations at Memorial Field are long overdue. The facility is used by families, runners, recreation leagues and the Mount Vernon High School football team. The stadium has also hosted concerts, fairs, derbies and rodeos.
Sonia McKenley, a city resident who lives near the park, said she used to go walking on the gravel and dirt track regularly for about 10 years. But she stopped using the track after she became disabled and had to walk with a cane. She said the ground was too muddy and uneven for her to continue her routine.
Despite disrepair at Memorial Field, McKenley said it was a popular park and she was glad to hear that plans for improvements were finally under way.
"I see the county is onto this again, which is a good thing because we really need that field," she said.
Westchester County Building New Fields in Yorktown
The Westchester County Government is proceeding with the construction of a new soccer field and a new baseball field in Yorktown. Located near the intersection of Route 132 and Strang Boulevard, these new fields will be call the "Woodlands Legacy Fields," referring to the Westchester County Legacy Program which is providing the funding.
Construction has begun, and these fields are expected to be completed during 2009. The project includes the two new athletic fields, lighting, an access road, parking, landscaping and bathrooms. The fields will be available for rent to all residents of Westchester County. We thank the Westchester County Government for their efforts to provide additional playing fields for the kids of our communities.
New Athletic Fields at V. Everett Macy Park in Ardsley
County is in the process of upgrading a portion of the V. Everett Macy Park in Ardsley. A comprehensive plan to improve the park has been approved. Improvements include two new natural grass soccer fields, refurbishing two natural grass baseball/softball fields, improving the network of hiking trails and planting dozens of native trees and bushes. The picnic area and the parking facilities will be upgraded as well.
Construction commenced on this project in mid 2008, and is expected to be finished during 2009. We thank the Westchester County Government for its efforts to improve its park facilities for the residents of
Flint Park Artificial Turf Field Officially Opens in Larchmont
by Judy Silberstein, Larchmont Gazette
(October 9, 2008) The newly installed artificial field in Flint Park has been in use for a number of months now. But Saturday, October 4 brought out a raft of community leaders, kids, parents and cheerleaders along with the drummers from Mamaroneck High School’s "The Force" to formally dedicate the Alexander Alma Field in honor of a Holocaust survivor whose son contributed to the field in his honor. (See: New Turf Field to be Named in Honor of Holocaust Survivor.)
"Some days it’s good to be the mayor," said Mayor Liz Feld, opening the ceremonies. "And this is the best."
Thanking an assortment of community and government groups and individuals, the mayor said, "All of this is here because of you."
She particularly singled out Fields for Kids, the grassroots organization that has pushed for the addition of sports fields in Larchmont and Mamaroneck and contributed $800K million for the Flint project. (See: Flint Park Artificial Turf Field Now Expected to Open in May.) And she called the overall $4.5 million renovation of Flint Park the "ultimate private-public partnership, with only 20% coming from the tax payer."
In turn, Westchester County Executive Andy Spano corrected the mayor good naturedly. Although only 20% of the project was being paid for by Larchmont taxpayers, Westchester taxpayers had kicked in $2.5 million from the County’s Legacy program, he reminded her. Brushing off a few drops of rain, he also noted, "If it keeps raining all day, the field will still be dry, which is a big improvement over what it used to be."
Adding a synthetic turf field at Flint Park, while opposed by environmentalists in Larchmont and elsewhere, was viewed as a major plus by local sports organizations who can continue playing on the fast draining turf even when rain or wet conditions require canceling games on natural grass fields.
County Legislator Judy Myer stressed that developing the new field took team work on the part of the municpalities, Westchester County, Fields for Kids and many others. "Eveything had to come together, we had to come together as a team for it to work," she said. Jim Hanley, president of Fields for Kids, gave credit to the "five fathers of the five families" who head up the local lacrosse, soccer, Little League and football leagues.
The synthetic turf field is only one element - albeit a major element - of a much larger park renovation project that includes an upgrade of two natural grass fields, a new environmental area overlooking the water, and new signage, landscaping, picnic areas, bleachers, pedestrian paths and other improvements, some of which are still underway. Mayor Feld announced that a $250K contribution from a local donor will be paying to refurbish the park’s tennis courts, beginning in November.
As guests left the ceremony, members of the Larchmont Department of Public Works were busy putting finishing touches on the nearby landscaping and preparing the field for its next engagement - a full Saturday of soccer games.
NYC Parks Breaks Ground On Renovation Of Van Cortlandt Park's Parade Ground
On October 21, 2008 Bronx Borough Parks Commissioner Hector Aponte joined State Senator Jeff Klein, Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz, Council Member Oliver Koppell, and DEP First Deputy Commissioner Steve Lawitts to break ground on $15 million in reconstruction to the 65-acre Parade Ground, a popular outdoor athletic field facility in Van Cortlandt Park. Officials also announced additional upcoming capital projects for a total $40 million investment in Van Cortlandt Park, all financed by $200 million in funds generated from the construction of the Croton Water Filtration Plant under the park’s Mosholu Golf Course Driving Range, through the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and the Municipal Water Finance Authority. The Mexican American Soccer League and Common Wealth Cricket League attended, while The Fordham School of the Arts Vocal Ensemble and Theodore Roosevelt Education Campus step dancing group provided entertainment.
“The venerable Van Cortlandt Park Parade Ground will be renovated thanks to a $15 million allocation from the $200 million investment in Bronx parks financed by DEP Croton Mitigation Funds,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “Throughout history, the site of the Parade Ground has been home to Native American villages, a Dutch farm, a military training ground, and polo fields. Today, the refurbished fields will offer New Yorkers a state of the art athletic facility for soccer, football, rugby, lacrosse, baseball, softball and more, spanning 65 acres in New York City’s fourth largest park.”
The 27 existing soccer, baseball/softball, and cricket fields will be re-graded and redesigned in a new layout to maximize play space, enhance field quality, and improve sight lines. A new irrigation and drainage system will also be installed. In addition, portions of the cross-country trail will be improved, and a new synthetic turf football field is being installed at Van Cortlandt Stadium.
Six New East River Soccer Fields Completed at Randall's Island
In September, 2008 the New York City Parks Department and the Randall’s Island Sports Foundation opened six new soccer fields in Randall’s Island Park. These fields are located on the southwest corner of Randall’s Island and are designated as the East River Fields. Fields #80 and #81 are natural grass fields with irrigation systems, and fields # 82-85 are all weather synthetic turf fields.
These fields are part of the Randall’s Island Sports Field Development Project , a project that envisions the construction and redevelopment of over 60 athletic fields over a several year period. These fields will accommodate a variety of sports including soccer, softball, baseball, football, lacrosse, field hockey and rugby. The planned program includes significant upgrades to the current facilities, including irrigation systems at all natural grass fields, water fountains, bike racks, picnic areas, and comfort stations. Designated parking will be added for the first time, keeping vehicles from having to park on playing fields.
The Manhattan Soccer Club and the Westchester Youth Soccer League both made contributions to this project.
More information can be found at the Randall’s Island Sports Foundation website www.risf.org
SUNY Purchase Opens New Soccer Field
In June 2008, soccer teams began playing on a newly built all-weather soccer field at SUNY Purchase. This full sized field was built adjacent to the existing athletic fields on the Purchase, NY campus. The field includes lights for evening play, and spectator seating.
The new field is available for rent when the Purchase College teams are not using the field. For information regarding availability and rates, contact Associate Director of Athletics Chris Bisgnano at 914-251-6534 or firstname.lastname@example.org
White Plains School District Opens Two New Fields
In May, 2008, White Plains children and their opponents begin playing on the new field that was installed at Parker Stadium at Highlands Middle School. This all-weather field is lined for soccer, football, lacrosse and field hockey. In addition, a new all-weather field at White Plains High School is nearly finished. The high school field, known as Loucks Field, is lined for soccer, football and lacrosse, and is surrounded by a new 8 lane track. Loucks Field, which also has bleachers and lighting, is pictured below. These projects were approved by White Plains voters in a school bond referendum in October, 2006.
New Soccer/Football Field Completed at Travers Island, Pelham
DeRosa Tennis Contractors, Inc., has completed the construction of a new soccer/football field at the New York Athletic Club’s Travers Island facility in Pelham. This field is a modern, all-weather field that will be able to withstand the heavy pounding of the NYAC adult teams.
The coach of the NYAC women’s soccer team has invited WYSL teams to come watch his team’s home games on this field. This team plays in the Women’s Premier Soccer League. Players in this league are typically current and recent college players and, in some exceptional cases, top high school players. There is no admission fee to attend these games. The WPSL website is at www.wpsl.info. The NYAC team page is at http://www.wpsl.info/newyorkac/.
School of the Holy Child Opens New Field
The School of the Holy Child in Rye has completed the construction of a new all-weather soccer field at its Westchester Ave campus. School of the Holy Child is committed to educating young women to "meet the wants of the age," and firmly believes that each student's education should include physical activity and athletic competition as well as spiritual growth, academic excellence, artistic achievement and community service. Knowing one's classmates, coaches, and teachers on the field of play leads to a richer and more meaningful educational experience.
Flint Park Field Now Expected to Open in May
by Judy Silberstein
(April 3, 2008) Shivering in the surprisingly icy winds, sports supporters and local officials gathered at the Flint Park flag pole on Saturday, March 29 as representatives from Fields for Kids presented Larchmont Mayor Liz Feld with an outsized check for $800,000. The donation will help pay for the new artificial turf field that was under construction across the road. The group will also be contributing $700,000 for renovations at Lorenzen Park and has raised $1,480,000 towards their goal of $1.5 million for Larchmont field projects.
For many who braved the unseasonal temperatures, the burning question was: When can you play on the new facility? Larchmont Mayor Liz Feld and Mamaroneck Town Supervisor Valerie O’Keeffe had some welcome news: the turf field will be available for some sports activities as early as mid-May. There had been concerns that a Town project to replace a leaking pipe would delay completion of the field for another month, but the old pipe that runs under a corner of the turf will be filled with concrete and left in place to allow the field to open as planned.
“The Town has been great in speeding up its schedule,” said Mayor Feld.
The grass baseball and soccer fields in the eastern quadrant of the park, having undergone months of renovations, will be seeded in a few weeks and will open with new grass, drainage and irrigation in April of 2009.
Mayor Feld hailed the Flint Park project as “a fantastic public-private partnership like you’ve never seen.” She praised Fields for Kids president Jim Hanley for dragging the board to Rye Country Day School to visit “the gold standard” artificial turf fields there and credited Larchmont Village Trustee Jim Millstein for finding the spot to shoe-horn a new field into the park.
The overhaul of the park is expected to run $4.5 million, with funds coming from federal, state and county grants along with donations from Fields for Kids, the Flint Park Conservancy and the sports leagues. (See: County Approves $2.55 Million Grant for Flint Park.) Larchmont taxpayers are kicking in their share, with much of the money coming from bonds authorized in 2004. (See: Larchmont Prepares for $3.2 Million Makeover: Bonds Will Fund 6 Major Capital Improvements.)
Mayor Feld said the project is on schedule and on budget, despite having incurred an additional $330K to remove tons of debris and detritus found under the grass fields, which had once been used as a dump.
Anthony Catalano, Larchmont’s consultant with Woodard and Curran, led a tour through the renovations and provided further progress reports: “We are on schedule, we are pleased to say.”
Except for a “few punch list items” and some benches and signage, the nature walk along the water at the back of the park is essentially constructed and planted. New permeable asphalt walkways are almost ready and will allow pedestrian access around the perimeter of the grass fields while also letting water drain into the ground below. Also underway are renovations to the parking lot at Birch Lane (which is also getting a porous asphalt surface). Installation of the new trees, bushes and other landscaping is set for the fall along with work on the parking lot near the American Legion hall.
The current projects expanded on earlier plans for an environmental area and renovated grass fields. The most significant addition is the artificial turf field (which required removal of some tennis courts along with a grove of old trees and a colony of feral cats that has been cared for by community volunteers). Mr. Catalano pointed out how a rethinking of Larchmont’s leaf composting area provided additional open space for the environmental area. The road that runs through the park is being rerouted and partly removed, making room for a picnic area near the American Legion Hall and an expanded grassy area beside the turf field.
For many on the tour, this was their first sight of the water behind Flint Park, an inlet of the Long Island Sound which for years has been hidden behind chain link fences, dirt berms and mounds of leaves. A combination of crushed rock paths and “wooden” boardwalks (made of recycled plastic) winds along the water, connecting on one side to trails into the Hommocks environmental area and on the other to the asphalt paths that circle Flint Park’s grass ball fields. Two observation decks rise above the marsh and provide further views of the cove and its water birds.
On the way to the environmental area, Mayor Feld pointed out the tall poles and netting that rise behind home base at the grass fields that are still being worked on. “We all realize they’re not a thing of beauty, she commented, “but for safety reasons, we believe we should keep them for now.” She mentioned that more people than ever are expected to be walking behind the fields as they go towards the water or the artificial field. The only parking in that area will be for handicap access. “One of Anthony’s biggest contributions is to make the park as pedestrian friendly and kid friendly as possible,” said Mayor Feld.
In addition to water views, the tour took in the expanded vista from Flint Park towards the Hommocks fields and beyond, which has not been universally applauded. Some park neighbors have complained about losing privacy and forest scenery. Supervisor O’Keeffe observed that she could now see the cupola of Mamaroneck High School rising in the distance like the spires in a picturesque New England village. She also took note of the drab back wall of the Hommocks Ice Rink and suggested some of the new landscaping might be positioned to soften that part of the view. Mayor Feld has said she expects the new plantings, in time, will address many of the esthetic and privacy issues.
New Soccer Field Under Construction in Chappaqua
The Town of New Castle has awarded a contract to build a new soccer field on the Amsterdam Property, which is located on Hoag Cross Road (between Pines Bridge Road and Route 134). The Town had issued a Request for Proposal seeking construction bids from contractors for the development of either a) one natural grass soccer field, plus parking facilities, or b) two natural grass soccer fields, plus parking facilities. After receiving back the contractors’ proposals, the Town has decided to proceed with the construction of one field at this time. The natural grass soccer field is expected to be under construction during the spring and summer of 2008.
The Amsterdam Property was acquired by the Town of New Castle several years ago from the IBM Corporation, and has been the site a several potential projects including proposed athletic fields and housing facilities. Various plans and proposals were floated and withdrawn over a several year period. Finally, New Castle’s community leaders recognized that there was a tremendous need for additional recreational facilities, and they made a decision to proceed with this much needed facility. Congratulations and thanks to all in the New Castle Town Government and Chappaqua soccer community who promoted this project and will see it through to completion.
New Soccer Field Opens at Columbus Park, Port Chester
County Executive Andy Spano, Port Chester Mayor Dennis Pilla, County Legislator Martin Rogowsky, Port Chester Soccer Club President Cesar Aliaga and other officials were on hand for the October 6, 2007 opening ceremony for the new synthetic turf soccer field in Columbus Park. This facility, which includes a new parking lot and restrooms, has been funded by the Westchester County Legacy Program, a Program initiated in 2001 by Andy Spano and the County Board of Legislators to provide more active recreational facilities and athletic fields throughout the county.
The soccer field has a state of the art synthetic turf surface, permitting play at times when natural grass fields are closed. Permanent lines for 11v11 games are sewn into the turf, and lines for a smaller 8v8 youth field have been painted inside the large field. A beautiful Town of Port Chester logo fills the inside of the center circle. Bleachers have been installed on the hillside overlooking the field for spectators. The field is expected to be used by both youth and adult soccer groups.
October 6, 2007
Harrison High School Opens New Field
Harrison High School has completed the construction of a new all-weather athletic field at its Union Ave campus. This project was financed by the generous donations of Harrison HS alumni, parents and community members. The field will be used for soccer, football and lacrosse. Many families in the Harrison Youth Soccer Club, this club and the WYSL made contributions to the Harrison Athletic Facilities Citizen’s Organization to fund the renovation of this field and related facilities.
New Field Open at Tuckahoe High School
This fall a new multi-sport all weather field has been opened at Tuckahoe High School. The new synthetic turf field is lined for football, soccer and lacrosse, and will be used by all sports for school teams and community-based youth sports programs.
Tuckahoe HS has only one field on campus, and it has been continually worn out from heavy usage by multiple sports. The new synthetic surface will allow all sports to use the field. The funding for this field came from a school bond issue approved by the voters of the school district.
New Rochelle High School Opens New Athletic Field
This fall New Rochelle High School has opened its third all-weather athletic field. McKenna Field, located on the north end of New Rochelle’s campus, is lined for football, soccer, lacrosse and field hockey. The completion of McKenna Field complements the two existing all-weather fields that have been used by New Rochelle High School teams and youth sports groups for several years.
Ossining High School Opens Second New Field
The Ossining School District has completed the installation of a new all-weather athletic field that has been lined for soccer and lacrosse. This field is in addition to Dilley Field at Ossining HS, which is lined for football and soccer. Both fields have been renovated with a new synthetic turf surface that permits play during and after rainstorms, and earlier in the spring and later in the fall.
The Ossining School District has also completed the installation of an all-weather field at the AMD Middle School. Ossining now has some of the best athletic field facilities in Westchester. We congraduate all those involved in the Ossining School District and Ossining athletic community who made these fields available for the kids.
Columbia University Opens New Soccer Field in Manhattan
In August, 2007, Columbia University completed the construction of a new synthetic turf soccer field at its Baker Field Athletic Complex in northern Manhattan. The University has made this field available for rent to community groups in the past, and a number of WYSL clubs are expected to play there.
According to Columbia University’s Head Soccer Coach for Men Leo Chappel "When I got here last year, teams did not want to come to New York City and play bacause of our field. We now have a world-class Fieldturf field, soccer only, so that tune has changed." The fields at the Baker Athletics Complex are pictured below.
Westchester County Opens Three New Fields at Tibbetts Brook Park
In June, 2007, Westchester County and the City of Yonkers opened three new synthetic turf soccer fields in Tibbetts Brook Park. Located at the north end of this Westchester County Park adjacent to the Cross County Parkway, a varsity size soccer field and two smaller 11v11 fields have been built and are now in use. Two existing baseball fields were also renovated.
Westchester County paid for this project as part of the County’s Legacy Program, which uses County funds to help municipalities create additional recreational facilities.
A second project in Tibbetts Brook Park will involve upgrading athletic fields at the south end of the park. A new synthetic turf field for Gallic Football, a Little League baseball field and an 8v8 youth soccer field are expected to be constructed over the next several years.
Congratulations and thanks to all in the Westchester County Government and the Yonkers community who helped promote this project and see it through to successful completion.
June 25, 2007
Eastchester Completes Haidel Athletic Field
The Town of Eastchester held a rededication ceremony to celebrate the completion of the construction of a new athletic field and related facilities at Haidel Field, adjacent to Greenvale Elementary School. Town Superviser Anthony Colavita was on hand to lead the dedication ceremony for this new all-weather field which is lined for football, soccer, lacrosse and baseball. Bleachers, a locker room and restroom facilites are all provided for the children of Eastchester and their opponents.
June 23, 2007
Rye Country Day School Opens Third New Field
The Rye Country Day School has completed its third all-weather synthetic turf athletic field. RCDS completed its first all-weather field in 2002, and a second all-weather field in 2006. These fields have been primarily used for soccer, football and lacrosse. The newest field, pictured below, is also set up for baseball and softball.
New Field Opens at Bronxville High School
One week after a devastating 100 year storm flooded the ground floor of Bronxville High School and caused Lower Westchester to be declared a Federal National Disaster Area, kids were playing soccer on the new synthetic turf surface that was installed at the school’s Chambers Athletic Field. A grass field would have been out of service for weeks after this flooding.
The $1.8 million cost of the field, a nearby synthetic turf practice field, and a new regulation sized running track, was entirely funded by donations raised from families and local businesses in the Bronxville community. The fields will be used by Bronxville HS football, soccer, lacrosse and track teams, as well as youth sports groups. Hundreds of Bronxville families and alumni of Bronxville HS contributed towards the fundraising effort.
Town of Cortlandt Dedicates New Soccer Field
The Town of Cortlandt has dedicated and opened the new Sprout Brook Soccer Field. This natural grass field will be used for travel soccer teams, the town’s in-house soccer program and a youth football conditioning program over the summer. In the past the Town had to rely entirely upon school for soccer fields. This new field will allow Courlandt to increase participation in the in-town and travel soccer programs. Pictured below is the groundbreaking ceremony by Town officials, and the finished field.
New Rye Brook Fields Host Soccer Tournament
The Rye Brook Soccer Club hosted its first Kickoff Classic Soccer Tournament on the new all-weather fields located at Blind Brook High School and the adjacent Town of Rye Brook King Street Fields. These modern synthetic turf fields enable soccer to be played in late March regardless of the early spring snow and rain conditions that would normally cause grass fields to be closed.
There are now a total of four synthetic turf fields in Rye Brook. Two are on the Blind Brook High School campus, and two are on the adjacent Town of Rye Brook King Street property. Westchester County provided funding for the two King Street fields which were opened in September, 2006. These are lined for soccer and softball. The Blind Brook School District provided the funding, approved by residents in a public school bond vote, for the two fields located up the hillside on the school property. The High School stadium field is lined for football, soccer and lacrosse, and the High School upper field is a varsity baseball field with room for a small soccer field in the outfield. The two High School fields were completed during the fall.
Somers High School Completes Two New Fields
The Somers School District has completed the installation of two new synthetic turf fields at Somers High School. The Main Field, which already has bleechers, pressbox and a sound system, has been lined for football, soccer, lacrosse and field hockey, and is expected to be used for Somers HS Varsity games. The nearby practice field has been lined for soccer, lacrosse and field hockey. Both fields are expected to be made available to community sports groups on weekends.
Ossining High School Opens Dilley Field
The Ossining School District has completed construction of a new multi-sport field at Ossining High School. This field, known as Dilley Field, is an all-weather field that is lined for soccer and football, and has bleachers for spectator seating. This field is the first of two new all-weather fields that will be installed at Ossining High School, the second one is expect to be built over the coming year.
Town of Harrison Opens New Field
The Town of Harrison has finished construction of a new multi-sport athletic field. This all-weather field, located in West Harrison Park (also know as Passidomo Veteran’s Park), will be used for soccer, football, lacrosse and baseball. The Town of Harrison has witnessed an enormous growth in the number of children playing youth sports, and this facility will be quickly put to good use by the Harrison Youth Soccer Club and other groups. We thank the Mayor, Elected Public Officials of the Town Council and the Recreation and Public Works Staff who worked to see this project through to completion for the children of Harrison.
Scarsdale Opens Two New Soccer Fields
In September 2006, the Village of Scarsdale opened two new natural grass soccer fields at the Crossway Fields complex. These fields are located on a portion of the former Village Leaf Compost Site.
In 2000, the Village retained Ward Associates, P.C., a Landscape Architects and Engineering firm, to conduct a study of all Scarsdale athletic fields. The study included the current scheduling of School District, Recreation Department and youth league sports activities. The information collected was used to create an inventory of existing athletic fields, study the current and future demand for each type of athletic field, and determine where the Village and School District could improve existing or develop new athletic fields to meet increased demand.
The Study recommended several projects at existing fields which were implemented to create immediate improvements in field availability. New underground drainage systems were installed at the existing Supply and Boulder Brook Lower fields which resulted in increased availability. An additional softball diamond was installed in the corner of Boulder Brook Lower. One diseased tree was removed from Greenacres which created enough space for an additional athletic field. Regrading and the removal of overgrowth in the back of Quaker Ridge resulted in space for another athletic field. A synthetic turf surface was installed inside the track at Scarsdale High School, financed by a community fundraising drive.
Since the Village was no longer composting leaves on site, it was only using about 2 acres of the 6 acres for leaf collection and transfer each fall. A plan was developed to reconfigure the site to add a large and a small soccer field and relocate parking. The Crossway complex now consists of a total of five athletic fields:
Crossway #1 and #2 are large baseball fields, with a football/soccer field in the combined outfields
Crossway #3 is a Little League baseball field, with room for a small soccer field in the outfield
Crossway #4 is a large athletic field that can be used for soccer or lacrosse
Crossway #5 is a small soccer field
Congratulations and thanks to all in Scarsdale who helped develop these projects and see them through to completion.
Rye Brook Opens New Soccer Fields
On a beautiful clear September day, County Executive Andy Spano and Rye Brook Mayor Lawrence Rand led the dedication ceremony for the new synthetic turf fields at Rye Brook’s King Street Field.
On the location of the former Rye Brook compost site, a varsity size soccer field and a varsity size softball field have been built and are now in use. Playing lines for smaller 7v7 and 9v9 soccer fields have been sewn in across the large field, permitting the Rye Brook Youth Soccer Club to use this facility for games for younger children.
To pay for this project, the Village of Rye Brook received $2.75 million from Westchester County, including a $2 million grant through the County’s Legacy Program, which uses County funds to help municipalities create additional recreational facilities.
Two more synthetic turf fields that are currently under construction at the adjacent Blind Brook High School, and are expected to be completed this fall. These fields will also be used for multiple sports, including soccer, football, lacrosse and baseball.
Congratulations to all in the Rye Brook community to helped promote this project and see it through to successful completion.
September 17, 2006
New Athletic Fields at Croton Point Park
August 1, 2006
Top quality athletic fields in Croton have been in hard to come by. But that has just changed for the better. As of August 14, 2006, Croton Village will assume maintenance and administration from the County over the newly improved athletic fields at Croton Point Park.
The County is completing a major renovation started two years ago. The Croton Point Park sports complex includes a baseball diamond and a multipurpose rectangular turf field, a generous parking area and a bathroom facility and a water fountain. These fields are located on Croton Point Park Avenue a quarter mile east the interchange with Rt. 9/9A and 100 yards east of the overpass above and entrance into the Metro North rail yard.
The baseball diamond has a sand covered infield, full height backstop and a slightly elevated pitcher’s mound. The turf on the outfield is new and robust. A new water fountain is located behind the backstop. The football-soccer-field hockey-lacrosse field is elevated for good drainage, irrigated by internal sprinklers, with embedded sockets for soccer-style goals. Its new turf is —at present—chiefly a playground for white-tailed deer and Canada geese from the woods and waters nearby. The multipurpose field’s dimensions are generous and adequate for scholastic scale competition.
Icahn Field Completed on Randall's Island
The Randall’s Island Sports Foundation and New York City Parks Department have completed the construction of a new all-weather soccer field on Randall’s Island. This field, Randall’s Island #10, is located adjacent to Icahn Stadium, and will be known as Icahn Field. Icahn Stadium and Field were developed as a public-private partnership with roughly equal amounts of private donations and public funds. This field has lights, a scoreboard and bleacher seating for 600 spectators. Youth and adult soccer teams will begin playing on this field in the Fall 2006 season.
New Field Opens at Scarsdale High School
The Scarsdale School District, the Village of Scarsdale and a local fundraising group named Fields for Kids held an opening ceremony today for the newly refurbished athletic field inside the track at Scarsdale High School. This field, known as Butler Field after the family which donated the land to the Village, has been the principle field for the Scarsdale High School football teams for years, has been worn out and removed from service each spring due to the heavy practice and game schedules by the Varsity, Junior Varsity and Freshman football teams.
The field now has an all-weather Fieldturf Synthetic Turf surface, and can accommodate not just the three school football teams, but also Scarsdale High School boys and girls soccer, boys and girls lacrosse and the girls field hockey teams. Youth soccer, football and lacrosse programs are now being allowed to play on the field on weekends when the school teams are not using it.
The number of sporting events hosted on this field- team practices and games- is expected to triple in the coming year.
The funding for this project came from the Scarsdale School District (25%) and Fields for Kids Inc (75%), a grassroots community organization that received donations from over 1,300 Scarsdale residents and alumni. The Village of Scarsdale, which owns the land and leases it to the School District, oversaw the bidding for the construction contact and supervised the construction process.
New Soccer Field at Saxon Woods Park in White Plains
In July 2005 an all-star cast of officials from the Westchester County Government and the City of White Plains were on hand for the opening ceremonies at a new soccer field at County-owned Saxon Woods Park in White Plains. Speaking on behalf of all those involved in this much needed project, County Executive Andy Spano, White Plains County Legislator Bill Ryan, Westchester County Parks Commissioner Joe Stout and White Plains Mayor Joseph Delfino spoke about the explosive growth in the number of kids and adults playing soccer, and how this facility would be made available to all Westchester adult and youth residents.
Located at the intersection of Mamaroneck Avenue and the Hutchinson River Parkway, this facility has already become very popular with adult, school and youth soccer groups. In addition to the all-weather synthetic turf surface, the field has lights so games can be played in the evenings. The management and scheduling of this facility will be handled by the White Plains Recreation Department.
This project was paid for by the Westchester County Legacy Program, a program announced by Westchester County Executive Andy Spano in 2001. The Legacy Program is designed to acquire Open Space to add to existing inventories of parkland, and to develop facilities for active recreation for County residents including athletic fields.
The adults and kids from the Westchester soccer community extend their congratulations and thanks to all those in the Westchester County Government and the City of White Plains who conceived this project, saw it through to completion and who will manage this facility going forward.