Turf Field to Break Ground in September

Officials project that athletic Facilities will be ready for fall, 2013.

In an update to the Township Committee and the Board of Education, Springfield Engineer Todd Hay provided details about the plans and construction of the turf athletic facilities on Dayton’s grounds.

Construction companies are already vying for the job, with bids for the project rolling in since July 1. The final deadline for bidding is July 31. Despite initial optimistic projections that the field would be ready for fall sports, the field will not be ready until 2013 because of safety considerations and a lengthy permit process.

“We are optimistic that it will be ready for athletic events in 2013,” school board member Jacqueline Shanes said. 

In addition to the field, amenities at the site will include bleachers capable of accommodating up to 500 people, an elaborate snack bar by the entrance and five tennis courts. The snack bar will be designed to match the exterior of Dayton High School, which Hay noted was designated as a historic site. The athletic fields are also slated to include 60-80 foot athletic field lights.

The site will not include a baseball diamond. Hay said that the site had inadequate fill for a baseball field.

Hays said there is a sewer underneath the field that will be removed before the field is built to allow for emergency access to the sewer.

“In the first week of September, we hope to have machinery out there,” Hay said.

Juannna July 19, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Is this Turf field going to be near the High School? I hope they are not just tearing up the Meisel field for the 3rd or 4th time....
MW July 19, 2012 at 02:02 PM
According to the 2010-11 NJ State Report Card, Dayton's SAT scores for all three sections were below the state average (avg 11 pts lower), and way below that of the DFG (avg. 29 pts lower), but at least they'll have a turf field!
Princess Valiant July 19, 2012 at 03:02 PM
To Anonymous & MW, I agree with you. Dayton now can (almost) boast a turf field but our students will not have honors classes. That's how they can surreptitiously claim a higher rating for the school in general. My youngest child is still there and we are trying to make the best of education here. How much was paid to Union for use of their football field? How much is paid to a lackluster superintendant? Oh good grief, now we'll have a turf field. Utterly underwhelmed.
T. Henry July 19, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Travis Smith 11:07 am on Thursday, July 19, 2012 Travis Smith 10:46 am on Thursday, July 19, 2012 I'm excited for the project and I think it will bring value to our homes. I'd like to see them re-vitalize a downtrodden downtown area, and bring back yard waste pick up for a paltry 20K in the Springfield budget. I'm not one for raising taxes, but I do believe there are some capital improvements needed (the field) and a return of services that was supposed to be a shared sacrifice during Christie's draconian tax cuts. The shared sacrifice was supposed to be one year. Congratulations on the turf Mr. Fernandez. Let's keep up the momentum and work on the downtown...I remember this was part of your platform on your campaign stump when you stopped by my house. Get some businesses in there. It saddens me to take my money and spend it in Garwood, Millburn, or Maplewood because our downtown is so depressed.
Philly July 19, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Princess Valiant you are wrong. Dayton does offer honors classes as well as AP classes.
bill July 19, 2012 at 09:14 PM
What about the sale of the land off of Tree Top that was supposed to offset some of the cost of the turf field? Any forward momentum on the land swap or sale of the land?
Chrys July 20, 2012 at 12:46 AM
I am saddened that the senior population in Springfield are afraid of 'the large group of kids & parents'! That speaks volume on how intimidating the whole process was. I hope you can find the strength to speak up for what you believe in annonymous.
Laura Petersen July 20, 2012 at 02:03 AM
It is so sad that many in our community disapprove in improving the athletic facilities at Jonathan Dayton. I'm not understanding anything negative about providing a turf field for our athletes. High school athletes should have decent fields to play on and Springfield has been lacking. As far as comments from Anonymous ... "our generation played on dirt fields" and "we're a spoiled society" well sorry, the world has changed a bit, thank goodness, and shouldn't we be happy that many of our youth channel their energy through sports. So in turn we should provide them with the facilities needed for them to excel. As to Princess Valiant's comments ... I also have a child at JD who has taken honors and AP classes starting freshman year and we know he's getting an excellent education here in Springfield. He's both an excellent student and athlete! The turf field is good for the kids, the school, and makes for a better Springfield. This is one of the steps, yes along with improving our downtown, to making us all proud to say we live here.
Chrys July 20, 2012 at 02:44 AM
It’s disingenuous when people say that the majority of people in Springfield wanted this field. The parents of the kids who are athletes strongly lobbied for it, and that is fair, but to say that everyone was for it is not. It is very easy to see why someone who is on a fixed income not want to have their taxes raised, in this instance, the seniors in Springfield. One might ask what is a couple of bucks (the current Mayor certainly didn’t think that raising taxes for this cause was any big deal)? It may be the difference between taking their meds or not, something that younger people take for granted. Not every child in Springfield plays sports. There are many other programs that could be started or improved! For one, why not eliminate the free period at the middle school level? If we are spending millions for a field, why don’t we pay teachers to work that period instead of having kids sit around in the gym doing absolutely nothing? Why don’t we provide better buses, not ones that break down on hills and have to drive in reverse or roll back from time to time? Why don’t we fix the field at Sandmeier? The whole back of the school is a pigsty! I could go on and go, but I’ve made my point here that these would benefit many more than a fancy field will.
The Voice of Reason July 20, 2012 at 10:02 AM
The turf field will be right smack in front of Dayton. In the article it mentions building bleachers that can accommodate 500 people. Where are they going to park their cars? Has a traffic study been done? Mountain Ave & So. Springfield/Meisel Ave are pretty much gridlocked during rush hours and sometimes on weekends. Will we be paying extra for police to manage traffic and the large crowds anticipated? Who will maintain and run the "elaborate snack bar?" None of these answers have been offered by our TC. We have been railroaded from the start. Look at the promise that was made by Mr. Krauss that the field will be ready to use this fall? Now the projection is Fall 2013? What other mistakes has the TC made? We will soon find out. My guess is that this project will be way over budget. And who will pay? We will. For many years to come. "REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER !!"
bill July 20, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Land swap? Sale? Is it still going to happen?
Chrys July 20, 2012 at 04:12 PM
The Turf field is absolutely NOT a part of Springfield's downtown revitalization! It has nothing to do with bringing steady income from sales of any goods! OMG, are people just making up excuses for the fact that hundreds of families will have to pay more to support a huge project that is not only unnecessary but in the end will cost way more than projected? Again, fix the current fields, improve education (and I mean REALLY improve it by showing better standardized scores and hire more teachers that are actually proficient in the subjects they teach), the maintenance of the roads and clean up of debris, storm drainage, bring in retail business that people will actually go to and buy from, have a place for young/seniors to go to, etc. etc. and Springfield will attract the best of the best!!!
paul July 20, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Let´s keep the trend going and play at Kean College, you know, that college that is on probation, the class of ´12 had their recent graduation there, they´ve been paying Union township to play on thei filelds, just move a little closer to Elizabeth to play our games..what a joke!
Chrys July 20, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Very successful people have graduated from Kean University: Edward J. Patten, United States House of Representatives ; New Jersey Secretary of State. Linda Morris, Emmy award writer and producer of Frasier. Vic Rauseo , Emmy award writer and producer of Frasier. Ed Naha, writer of science fiction novels and the motion picture screenplay for Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Bruce Williams, businessman and radio talk show host, The Bruce Williams Show. Susan MacLaury, health professor, social worker, and Emmy Award-winning, Academy Award-nominated producer of War/Dance. Xiaobo Yu, Chinese palaeontologist credited with first describing the lobe-finned fish Psarolepis romeri, a transitional species between fish and amphibians. Raúl Zamudio, curator/art critic/art historian. Jim McGreevey, former Governor of N.J. & former ethics prof. at Kean University. Richard O'Meara, retired Brigadier General in the U.S. Army/Vietnam War combat veteran/ lawyer, and member of the Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Army who has not only taught at Kean University, but Rutgers University-Newark, Monmouth University, and the Div. of Global Affairs. Why did JDH choose to hold its ceremony, for the first time ever, at a place it thinks so little of? Really absurd when you look at the short list above and say that Kean University isn’t worth our appreciation!!!
Steven Hockstein July 21, 2012 at 02:27 PM
I would like to add that my kids have been successful in the Springfield school system. The education is good. The turf field is not going to help the high school graduates do better in life (except for the VERY limited few that will get a college scholarship). The town adminstration should use their efforts to figure out how to make the center of town a place of community. Once there are thriving businesses, you can ask for sponsorships for sports. The center of town is pitiful.
Steven Hockstein July 21, 2012 at 03:25 PM
When we were being "Sold" the concept of the turf field one of the things I was told was that it will be a place for town residents to come together and provide a sense of comunity. The town is spending a lot of money for a very limited percent of our residents. The fact that there will only be bleachers for 500 people proves this point. Here is my math: If there is a Dayton football game with 20 kids on each team and each kid (from each team) has three family members attend (a guess average considering parents, siblings, and grandparents), there will be 120 seats taken by family members. If you add the family members of the cheerleaders, color guard, and band members my rough guess is that there will be another 50 people in the stands. If you add 160 kids cheering for each team (hopefully because the new field will help improve school spirit you will get 40 kids from each grade to attend), then add 10 teaching staff members for each team and that will leave a whopping 150 seats for the rest of the town!! Great planning! There are much better ways to waste money. As soon as my kids are finished with school we are out of this town.
Peter July 21, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Just another reason to further raise property taxes in Springfield.
Shore Girl July 25, 2012 at 04:13 PM
I agree Peter more taxes for all and all because of a small group of people that want this field! And the new plan is to make the old y a school after you add on to walton! This whole town is a joke!!!!!!!!!!!!
MJ July 25, 2012 at 10:15 PM
I got my tax bill yesterday and lookie lookie, taxes went up again. I agree with Skeptic1, as soon as i talk my wife into it we are out of here. This town waste more money and thought on bullshit. Wake up
Shore Girl July 25, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Let me get this straight there will be no baseball field?
bill July 26, 2012 at 12:50 AM
What is the status of the land up top for sale that is supposed offset the cost of the turf field? It has to have a decent value, even in todays financial environment.
a October 25, 2012 at 11:33 PM
we got hosed on this deal. it should have been put on the ballet for a reforendum but alas the mayor didnt want it as he knows it would have been defeated. now with a potential hurricaine coming this weekend has anyone thought about all of the dirt that has been dug up to see what will happen to the properties by town hall or the high school. i hope the town is prepared and puts aside their differences in preparation for this storm.
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