Town and school officials walked the entire Revson Baseball Field on Monday and, for a change, they were very pleased.
“It rained almost three inches last night, and Revson would be playable this afternoon,” said Dave Ungar, head of the Parks and Recreation Department. “It’s incredible … in the past, the field would have been closed for three days… Even Bisceglie [ballfields aren't] playable today.”
Revson has been plagued with drainage issues since it was built during the school construction project nearly 10 years ago. Estimates to entirely reconstruct the varsity and JV fields ran to well over $1 million, so that option was never pursued.
After numerous failed attempts to fix the field for less money, the town thought it finally had an affordable solution last year when it hired Aqua-Turf of Orange for about $145,000 to excavate, grade and replace the infield clay, sod, and loam in the infield and install new drains and repair the irrigation system in the outfield.
But Aqua-Turf, which was supposed to finish the job in six weeks, still hadn’t done the work to the town’s satisfaction after almost nine months. The town declared Aqua-Turf had abandoned Revson.
It hired, instead, Sports Turf Specialists to replace infield clay, National Irrigation to replace damaged and incorrectly sized irrigation heads, and Peloso and Sons to fix the sod. In addition, school maintenance crews helped get the field in shape.
After the walk-through on Monday, officials found that the field is finally draining properly and the schools accepted the field from the town, Mr. Ungar said.
“The project wasn’t without its bumps and bruises, but it has really paid off,” Mr. Ungar said.
Walking the field with Mr. Ungar were First Selectman Gayle Weinstein; Town Administrator Tom Landry; John Conte, town engineer; Joanne Keating, finance director for the school district; Dan Clarke, the school district’s director of facilities; and Rocco Popoli, head of field maintenance for the schools.
Ms. Weinstein said last year, the school district took over the responsibility of maintaining all the school fields and grounds except for Revson. By accepting the field, the district will now be responsible for its upkeep, as well.
“I think everyone is happy with what’s finally happened, keeping in mind that no field will ever be perfect,” Ms. Weinstein said.
When the Babe Ruth baseball league finishes its season at the end of this week — it has been using the JV field at Revson — the entire field area will be completely closed to the public. School personnel will do work that is still needed on the JV field, and both fields will be allowed to rest “so they should be perfect for the fall,” Ms. Weinstein said.