With so much focus on next year’s budget, many may have lost sight of a project that has been flying under the radar: renovation of Memorial Field at Mamaroneck High School, which is expected to begin as early as June.
The board is still working out some details, specifically what kind of infill to use to cushion the artificial turf that will cover the field. Infill will be the subject of a study session on May 4.
The bigger issue is the bid process.
“We’re hoping early June,” for a groundbreaking on the new field, said Linnet Tse, president of the Mamaroneck School Board. “The timing of the bid process in the big unknown.”
Bid documents have gone out and are expected back by mid-May, but the board is waiting to see what comes in.
Timing is a question, but funding was settled last year. “There is absolutely nothing in the 2010-2011 budget for the fields,” stressed Ms. Tse.
Approximately $1,365,000 has been put together to pay for upgrades to the field. This includes $500,000 in district funds authorized in 2004 for a project that was not undertaken because it would have required moving the Kemper Memorial Park. Another $250,000 is from a state grant obtained with help from Assemblyman George Latimer. Two local sports organizations have contributed: $100,000 from Larchmont Junior Soccer and $50,000 from Larchmont Mamaroneck Youth Lacrosse. The remainder, approximately $465,000, was donated from private sources in a campaign led by Fields for Kids, the organization dedicated to expanding and improving local playing fields. (See: Close to 500 Families Help FFK Meet Goal for Turf Field.)
The plan now in place is a scaled back version of a design included in the $38 million bond for field and infrastructure upgrades that was defeated in February of 2009. The smaller plan, dubbed Modified Plan C, calls for reorienting the football field and installing artificial turf.
With some additional modifications, the plan was approved by the New York State Department of Education, allowing the district to solicit bids.
According to Ms. Tse, bid documents asked for two alternatives for the artificial turf infill: EPDM, which is a virgin rubber product; and coconut-cork.
In previous deliberations, the board opted against using infill made of recycled rubber, which was installed at Flint Park by the Village of Larchmont. That project was opposed by local environmentalists, who argued that recycled rubber could contain potentially damaging metals and other substances.
The district’s athletic director, Bari Suman, and its field consultant, William Aniskovich, have been researching the relative merits of the infill alternatives. “We’ll be hearing recommendations on performance and durability,” said Ms. Tse.