Park and Rec Endorses Effort for Synthetic Turf
The Recreation and Parks Commission unanimously endorsed the Marblehead All-Sports Foundation's effort to fund the installation of a synthetic turf field at Marblehead High School.
At their meeting at the Marblehead Community Center Tuesday night, members of the Recreation and Parks Commission unanimously endorsed the Marblehead All-Sports Foundation's effort to install a synthetic turf field at Marblehead High School before the 2013 fall sports season.
Appearing before the board were foundation members Bruce Bial and Sam Ganglani, who explained why the foundation felt now was the time to move forward with the project and said they wanted to make sure they had the full support of commission members before appearing before other town boards and committees.
"We want to come out right away and know that this board is 100 percent behind us," Bial said. "If we don't get a ringing endorsement here tonight we'll put the brakes on it. There just wouldn't be any reason to move forward."
Although he admitted the foundation's plan is ambitious, Bial said the idea is to raise enough of the approximately $1.2 million needed for a turf field privately so the school can break ground in June of 2013 with the hope of having the field ready for the following fall season.
"This is a golden age in Marblehead for sports and we want the facilities to be matching the town," Bial said. "We have to have a turf field and if we don’t do this now, I don’t think we will get this done in the next 8 years."
The foundation has already funded the purchase of a new aerator for the Recreation and Parks Department and Bial said they have reached out to other communities that recently installed synthetic turf fields for advice, including officials in Gloucester and Beverly.
"We have already begun working with community leaders and town officials to begin this capital campaign, but success will depend on the willingness of our citizens to provide us with support, financial or other," an informational flyer handed out at the meeting read.
Following the installation of a synthetic turf field, Bial said the foundation plans to set their sites on replacing the track at Village School.
The Marblehead All-Sports Foundation's member organizations include Marblehead Youth Baseball, Marblehead Youth Basketball, Flag Football, Marblehead Youth Football, Marblehead Youth Hockey, Marblehead Youth Lacrosse, Youth Softball, Men's Soccer and Youth Soccer organizations, according to release.
Foundation members are Bial, Ganglani, Tom Gabel, Steve Maxwell, Lissa Millett, Derek Norcross, Dean Oliver, Bill Quigley, Mark Tarmey, John Thompson and Laura Tyrrell.
Residents looking for more information about the Marblehead All-Sports Foundation or who are interested in making a donation are encouraged to contact the organization at firstname.lastname@example.org.