Flowers (City) Park Field Reconstruction Wins National Award

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Flowers (City) Park Field Reconstruction Wins National Award

January 18, 2011 - 16:57

(NEW ROCHELLE, NY) -- The reconstruction of Skidelsky Field in Flowers (City) Park was recently honored by the American Sports Builders Association (ASBA), the national organization for builders and suppliers of materials for athletic facilities.

Designed by Stantec, the new soccer field earned a “distinguished sports field” award in the single field category. Ravaged by a 2007 Nor’easter that flooded it with over 7 inches of rain, the synthetic turf field had to be completely reconstructed. Stantec’s landscape architects developed a master plan for the field area and the entire park, which enveloped new drainage infrastructure below the new field and realigned the other playing fields, maximized their use for several sports, and added sports lighting and a system of walking trails to better all park amenities.

Stantec also won three awards for athletic design projects in Massachusetts and Vermont: a new football and soccer field within a new track at Archbishop Williams High School in Braintree, Massachusetts; a new community tennis center at a senior living complex in Dedham, Massachusetts; and Castleton State College’s Spartan Stadium and athletic fields in Castleton, Vermont.

In 2006, Stantec also conducted a master plan study for Ward Acres Park in New Rochelle. The firm has designed hundreds of recreation and athletic facilities for other public and private institutions across the Northeast as well, including new fields at the former site of Yankee Stadium, Gillette Stadium, the Florida Citrus Bowl, and several Harvard University fields.

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Stantec proposes a nice idea but I believe there's a huge miss on the baseball field. Word is that Iona, and Monroe college are both interested in using this new field for their NCAA baseball teams. I'm not sure how the two college teams will play on a field without an outfield fence around the perimeter to separate the facility and hold true to standard dimensions. Not exactly NCAA regulations. A "multipurpose" field is slated to run across both the softball and baseball outfields for recreational use, prohibiting a separation of regulation style fields for both sports. The need for a quality, lighted baseball facility for high level competition in New Rochelle has been a concern with the city's collegiate athletic teams for a long time and now it seems there's only a modified solution to this question. I don't see how that will work with a 600 ft centerfield that runs into the softball field behind it. Division 1 colleges will not agree to such thing, unless something has changed since the posted plans or I am wrong, which I hope I am.

Here's the latest plan on Noam's site:

Thanks Kyle, but there wasn't much information in the link, at least anything new or descriptive on the plans. I couldn't find anything on the city's website either.

This is a $10 million project and so far the big circle area labled "Improved Public Spaces" (upper right & next to the pump station) is where the demo crews are leveling a couple of mountains and I can only wonder what that costs and what will be put there.

Also I question the need to improve the tennis court link as most (maybe all) people that play tennis there use the Barnard School lot. What is needed is a refurbishment of the tennis courts as only 3 out of 4 courts have been playable for the last 5 years, but I don't think it would cost much to reset to broken net pole(s) and put up a net.

I'll hold final judgment until the project is done, but I'm leaning towards wasteful mismangement of taxpayer money. Besides New Rochelle won't budget monies sufficient to maintain these fields in the future and we'll be back at square 1 in a matter of no time.

And now the city is on the hook to repair and maintain miles of roads that the county used to maintain and we all know New Rochelle doesn't have the money or just can't figure out how to maintain our roads as most are in shambles.