Sports chosen for play on new turf; Stonington design work continues

Stonington - A committee overseeing athletic field improvements has decided what sports will play on the new artificial turf field.

The committee is still discussing what type of turf to install and is considering alternating panels with different tints every 10 yards, as long as it does not cost more or limit options.

Director of Public Works Joe Bragaw said a preliminary design will be completed in a few weeks and bids for the project should be solicited by March 1, with work beginning in May. He said that would put the field on track to be ready for use at the start of school in late summer.

Bragaw said football, lacrosse, soccer and field hockey will be played on the field, which will be lined accordingly. The soccer teams, though, will continue to play primarily on grass.

Netting will be added behind the end zones to catch lacrosse balls. The field will include a large brown "S" with a white border. Areas for jumping events will be shifted to new locations around the track.

Bragaw said the 3,000 cubic yards of loam that will be removed from the existing grass field will be stockpiled and reused to repair the grass fields, saving the town money.

The committee also plans to visit more communities with artificial turf fields before it makes a final decision. One of those communities is Cheshire, which has alternating tinted panels.

Voters approved the $2.7 million project to build the artificial turf field and repair the grass fields last year. Work to rebuild the softball, boys soccer and field hockey fields will begin after the artificial turf field is done. That work is projected for completion in 2014. Improvements also will be made to other parts of the athletic complex.

The committee's next meeting is Jan. 25 at 2:30 p.m. in the high school library.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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