By Max Bowenemail@example.com
The town’s youth football and lacrosse programs will soon have a new home.
On a section of land behind the soccer fields on High Street, construction vehicles have been clearing out a length of forest to make way for a gravel path leading to two new athletic fields. According to Parks and Recreation Director Steve Carvalho, these will be for two youth programs that have lacked a practice and game space for some time.
Construction of the fields will begin in late summer or early fall with a planned end date a year later. There will be additional parking as well as lighting. The project was funded by a $1.1 million appropriation from the town’s American Rescue Plan funding. The youth groups will partner with Parks and Recreation for field maintenance costs, to come out of existing user fees.
“All sports groups will have home,” said Carvalho. “It’s a big shot in the arm to these youth groups groups that have been staked up against each other for some time.”
The existing fields on High Street will remain as they are, and the driveway already in place will be used for youth soccer practice and games. Carvalho said those fields were built seven years ago and the new project is part of an ongoing effort to improve fields for the town’s sports.
Opening these fields won’t just benefit football and lacrosse, according to Carvalho. Once they’re open, football won’t have games and practices at Mason Field and this will be converted to a 50/70 diamond for youth baseball. This will move softball to Petti Field, giving the league its own place for games. Dugouts, field services, batting cages, and scoreboards at Petti Field will be updated.
Looking ahead, Carvalho said expanding existing fields, adding more lighting, and finding places to build new fields are on the “to-do” list.
“The youth groups have all embraced this,” he said. “Bottom line—we’re helping more kids.”