Press Box Among Potential Improvements in the Works for Rec Areas


Beaver Pond Rec area could get a press box something like the one shown above -- a conversion from a shipping container. Fortuitously, the town has an unused container potentially fit for the purpose.

The Recreation Advisory Board met at the Recreation Department offices Monday night at 8 pm with Chair Wayne Simarrian and members Mark Eccher, Kinjal Patel and Larry Pollard present. Rec Director Ryan Jette was also in attendance providing most of the updates, starting with planned improvements to fields and playgrounds

Jette said that an expansion project is underway at the Beaver Pond area. Blue Diamond, a contractor, is starting to rough grade the site and design for a new playground area is underway including a playground for younger children and an obstacle course for children 13 and older. There will also be a small practice area for team warmups and a lacrosse wall for playing “wall ball,” he explained. This project benefited from a $17,000 allocation from the Fletcher Fund.

Some $55,000 has been allocated from the Fletcher Fund to create a press box, built from a shipping container that had been used for storage by the department. Jette said he has discussed eventually connecting the press box to fiber optic cable running along Beaver street to support broadcasting of events. As this project and other related projects come to fruition, Jette said there are plans afoot to honor long-time coach and athletic activist, Paul Socci and better acknowledge the playground donation of the Vendetti family.

Jette then went on to describes improvements being proposed for the King Street recreation area. The King Street Memorial Park currently contains soccer fields; a baseball field, a basketball court, pickleball courts, a playground, community gardens and a
concessions and restroom building. He said the Town is considering the following improvements:
• Provide site lighting at parking lots and roadways;
• Replace existing play equipment and safety surfacing;
• Provide a new concession and restroom building;
• Provide a new splash pad;
• Provide four new pickleball courts;
• Add new parking near the flagpole;
• Add site lighting including parking and access roads.

At the small Nason Street Playground, which has been growing increasingly popular, Jette said his department hopes to fully rebuild the facility, including “poured in place” playground surface, which includes a rubberized coating. The system is not only safer for children it is more easily accessible to children with mobility problems (e.g. using a wheel chair) than a bark mulch surface.

“We are owed $34,000 from Gametime, the vendor that provided the playground at Del Carte,” Jette said. They hope to apply that balance to the needed work at Nason Street, which could total around $300,000.

Jette said he and Town Administrator Jamie Hellen are in the process of seeking at $200,000 state grant for playground upgrades at Fletcher Field.

On Monday, June 6, Jette said the new outdoor hockey rink at Fletcher, will be opened.

Modular Press Box image Courtesy of BMarko Structures

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