With work set to begin on the new girls softball field on Hoydens Lane, the Parks and Recreation Commission has unanimously approved naming the field in honor of the late Selectman Denise Dougiello.

Dougiello, who passed away in 2008 after a battle with cancer, was very active in local softball leagues.

"We're moved and it means a lot to us," Barbara Dougiello, one of Denise Dougiello's sisters. "We're honored that you would do this." Barbara and sister Darlene attended the commission's recent meeting when the designation was approved.

Darlene Dougiello said her sister had been involved in softball in Fairfield for 25 years.

Commission members discussed whether to name just the ballfield, or the entire park after the former selectman. "I thought we were going to do the whole park," Recreation Director Gerald Lombardo said. "It's up to you, but we're probably only going to have the one field."

The commission agreed Dougiello's name should apply to entire park, not just the ballfield, and asked the family to make a recommendation on the wording they prefer for the dedication.

As for the new field's construction, Lombardo said the house on the former Parsells property has been posted for demolition. "That should be coming down soon," he said, "and we're looking to get going forward in the early fall."

The ballfield has faced opposition during the approval process, with a referendum over the $350,000 construction costs that failed last year and a zoning appeal filed by neighbors that is still pending.

"We have an unbelievably successful girls softball program here," said commission member Dante Gallucci. "They deserve this field," he said.

"It makes it all worthwhile," said Barbara Dougiello.