Town Council Advances Eldredge Park Renovations

by | Sep 14, 2023

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.

The gothic-style pavilion planned for Eldredge will be like this one recently built in Medway, Mass.

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.”

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September 15, 2023 1:07 pm

Great plans! That field is very valuable to our community.

Tucker D
Tucker D
September 16, 2023 8:12 am

Glad to see this prime location being taken care of by the town. My friends and I spent many happy hours growing up playing on that field and shooting hoops at the courts.

Jane Johnson
Jane Johnson
September 16, 2023 8:33 am

The plans our athletic fields sounds great! How about we add in a couple of bocce courts as well?

Sherry Mong
Sherry Mong
September 16, 2023 1:09 pm

With these additions, I would also like to see a splash park (like N. Kingstown has) in this area.


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