Renovations could be completed by next summer
The Town Council unanimously passed a motion on Monday night 4-0 to set aside $24,500 in grant money for BL Companies as part of the Eldredge field improvement project. Council member Mike Donegan was absent.
The money will pay BL Companies to develop “construction documents for a renovated existing softball field with irrigation and a new walking path around the perimeter of the existing softball field,” according to a letter from Andrew Wade, EG Community Service director, to the council. With those materials, the town could seek bids from construction companies prepared to do the actual work.
The renovated softball fields and new walking path are part of a $400,000 state-funded revitalization plan to renovate the area around the Eldredge that was announced last year. BL Companies developed the master plan for the project that includes new fencing, an ADA-compliant walking trail, trash receptacles, refurbished softball fields, a gothic-style pavilion, and new basketball courts.
Town Council President Mark Schwager explained that the $24,500 “will come from the 2022 recreation grant of $400,000.”
On Monday night, Wade told the council that “additional items” will be added to the project, such as “solar-powered compacting trash cans that will be installed on the premises as well as a couple of bottle filling stations.” He mentioned the need for the bottle filling stations when pointing out that several parks around town have water fountains that have “ceased working probably a generation ago.”
“It will be exciting to see the work commence,” Schwager said.
With the approval, Wade believes that by creating the bid documents now, the town could “get a company under contract early in 2024 so we could start to break ground and see progress next spring and completed, hopefully, in the summer months.”
Concurrently, the project to build two new pickleball courts at Academy Field is also moving along, with the landscape architect from BETA Group finalizing bid documents.
“I would expect the two projects to begin to align timewise, however the Eldredge project does have more components and will require a little more coordination with the school to complete,” said Wade after the meeting. “We’re really looking forward to moving forward.”