With warm winter, no off-season for ballfield projects
Updated 6:42 pm, Saturday, January 14, 2012
With relatively mild weather so far this winter, work is in full swing on two youth ballfield projects in Fairfield, with one likely ready for use by summer.
Town officials Wednesday visited both the Little League fields at Gould Manor Park and the site of a girls softball field on Hoydens Hill.
At Gould Manor, the $160,000 project to realign the two fields there is being paid for by Fairfield American Little League, although Recreation Director Gerald Lombardo said the town is keeping tabs on the project.
"We're on top of that," Lombardo said. "It's about 75 percent done."
Town Engineer William Hurley said that one field "is pretty much done" with the sod and infield in place, while infield work remains to be completed on the second field in the complex.
Backstops are now being installed, he said, as part of the project to remake two fields in the park for Fairfield American.
The Gould Manor project also calls for additional permanent fencing and temporary home run fencing to be used during the baseball season.
"We're hoping that those fields will be ready by June or July," Lombardo said.
At Hoydens Hill, the house that stood on the former Parsells property has been demolished and the field area has been leveled and cleared.
"We're probably going to be ready for a fall opening here," Lombardo said. "There is definitely no way we'll be ready for April."
Work on the $350,000 project, in addition to demolishing the house, includes removing trees, regrading the field site and installing detention ponds, Hurley said. The field is still awaiting topsoil, clay for the infield and a gravel parking lot, as well as installing restrooms and a storage facility.
Both projects faced opposition from neighbors. The fight against the girls softball field was particularly intense, with the project facing both a court appeal of the Town Plan and Zoning Commission approval, as well as a referendum to overturn the funding.
However, the referendum failed and a Bridgeport Superior Court judge denied the neighbors' request for a temporary injunction to halt construction.