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Roberts Field in Dorchester to receive $2.8 million in renovations

Posted by Patrick Rosso  March 22, 2012 04:04 PM

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Roberts Field in Dorchester will soon see some much needed renovations, according to the Boston Parks and Recreation Department.

At a lightly attended meeting Wednesday night, representatives from the city discussed with residents the $2.8 million in upgrades coming to the field.

The changes include completely redoing the field with artificial turf and improving drainage, access points, and lighting.

“We started the [renovations] process a few years ago but put it on hold because of the economy,” said Cathy Baker-Eclispe, a project manager for Parks and Recreation. “We have confidence we can address all the issues. Probably you could spend another million on the park but we don’t have that.”

Although the meeting, held at the Great Hall in Codman Square, only had a few residents and representatives from the Tech Boston Academy, which uses the field, in attendance, many agreed that it was about time the field got fixed up.

The also has received some recent upgrades. ESPN and its Rise Up program made renovations to the field’s running track, fencing, lighting and landscaping. The city hopes to continue on that work.

“We can’t play home games right now, and for us to be able to have home games would be great,” said Jillian Smith, the athletic director for Tech Boston. “After everything ESPN did it would be the missing piece.”

Along with the school’s use of the 225,000 square-foot field, it also has a cricket field, soccer field, football field, baseball field and softball field, all of which are heavily used by residents.

“We want to accommodate as many sports as we can,” said Glenn Howard, principal landscape architect with CDM Smith, a consultant with the city. “Natural turf fields are very limited and they take a lot of maintenance. The artificial turf fields can last up to 8 – 10 years.”

While there was excitement among those who attended Wednesday’s meeting, the city still has to survey the field and prepare its final draft of renovations.

Parks and Recreation staff estimated that they will send out the project to bid by early December and hope to start construction by March 2013, with all work completed by winter 2013.

Parks and Recreation staff said they will before the community again when they have a complete list of renovations.

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Email Patrick D. Rosso, patrick.d.rosso@gmail.com. Follow him @PDRosso, or friend him on Facebook.

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