Swampscott Field Committee to Study Improvements Including Artificial Turf

Selectman Glenn Kessler wants the committee to consider Upper Jackson Park as an alternative to Phillips Park, which is prone to flooding.


Selectmen agreed on Wednesday to have the new look at the or alternative locations for a synthetic surface.

The field would be paid for by public and private funds; and the committee's field recommendation, including a cost estimate, will be presented to selectmen by Feb.  14.

Board members held off appointing the committee's seven members for at least another week. They want to see if additional people volunteer and give the committee a make-up more representative of the town as a whole.

Selectman Jill Sullivan said the new committee should include Linso van der Burg, who would bring to the table his experience as a member of the group that proposed the previous field improvement plan.

The board agreed to broaden the scope of the new committee's study to include alternative field sites after Selectman Glenn Kessler suggested at the high school as a field location.

That site is less prone to flooding, he said.

Prospective Committee member Linso van der Burg cautioned against giving the volunteer committee too broad a scope.

Selectman David Van Dam said he hopes the committee comes back with new plans that resolve concerns raised at Town Meeting about the previous artifical surface proposal.

That proposal failed to gain the necessary two-thirds majority vote in May.

Some of the concerns raised about the proposal included the health implications of an artifical surface, the explanation of the project's funding and that the field was supported by too small a group that did not represent the views of the town at large.

The new committee will study the field's practice and playing space, including an artifical surface to meet those needs.

Town Administrator Tom Younger developed the draft of the committee's scope of responsibilities.

The committee's goals also include looking at options to repair or replace stands; recommendations for improvements that benefit sports including football, field hockey, lacrosse and soccer; and investigating grants and private donations.



Citizen Swamp July 15, 2012 at 02:59 PM
AB, We'd be interested in your suggestions on the subject of Blocksidge Field. CS
Archie Bunker July 15, 2012 at 05:31 PM
The town meeting did exactly what it was supposed to do, stop these ridiculous outlays of taxpayer monies for pet projects and Real Estate speculation that would hurt the surrounding home owners by reducing the value of their properties! The field should be properly maintained and new stands built to protect public safety. That is the extent of the town's responsibility! How about doing what government is tasked to do like collecting trash without placing unwarranted limitations!
Citizen Swamp July 15, 2012 at 05:47 PM
AB, You're wrong on your temple projects. That land was purchased under the guise of building a police station, all to prevent lower income apartments from being built there. Which a developer could do "by right" skipping the zoning review process. There is no way the proposed project at either the Temple or Middle School site is going to reduce property values. Both projects are attractive and well thought out. Lets move forward on both. We will rid the town of dilapidated buildings and add to the tax rolls. CS
Citizen Swamp July 15, 2012 at 05:52 PM
AB As for Blocksidge Field, yes the bleachers and press box are in horrible shape. You are taking the easy way out by saying the grass field is a victim of poor maintenance. In fact it is a victim of gross overuse. If we want to continue to schedule play on that field at it's current rate the only solution is an artificial surface. Mr. Kessler's proposal to turf the Upper Jackson field would in fact permit less use at Blocksidge if most events except for football games were scheduled up there. CS
Citizen Swamp July 15, 2012 at 09:08 PM
PM, Lights would be easy with turf, I'm sure a whole new batch of neighbors would complain. Wouldn't need many bleachers since lax, field hockey and soccer don't draw large crowds. If your talking about a stadium suitable for football up on the hilltop, that's a different story. Would need bleachers to seat at least 2500. Press box, a building or tents for half times, restroom facilities, scoreboard, parking isn't the greatest for large crowds, concession stand,, etc. I can hear the Greenway and Burpee Road crowd already talking about the impact to their neighborhood. CS


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