By Kim Siebert MacPhail
It’s official. Now that the Selectmen have signed the $1,004,750 contract with Heimlich Landscaping and Construction Co., of Woburn, installation of synthetic turf will begin on June 3, the day after the 2013 Relay for Life is over. The remaining amount of the project’s appropriation—$92,250, approximately 9% of the project’s cost—has been held back for contingencies that may arise during construction.
On Monday night, Public Works Director Rich Warrington reported to the Selectmen that Heimlich Landscaping’s winning bid covers so-called “alternate plans” 1 and 2, which include synthetic turf installation plus removal of the visitors’ bleachers, addition of two lanes of track (bringing the total number of lanes up to 8), and installation of field event facilities in the “D” areas at both ends of the stadium.
Alternate plans 3 and 4—construction of replacement visitors’ seating and purchase of a vacuum-assisted synthetic turf maintenance “field-dressing” machine—will be funded from leftover contingency funds or, in the case of the turf maintenance machine, may be addressed through an equipment borrowing arrangement with another town until funds can be appropriated to purchase a machine.
The duration of the construction contract is 85 days, which means—if all goes as anticipated— that the field will be completed by the 2013 fall sports season. Warrington reported that High School Athletic Director Keith Mangan has scheduled the first two football competitions as away games as a precaution, in case construction is delayed anytime during the process.
Warrington also reported that the field will be permanently lined for three sports: football, soccer, and men’s lacrosse. Field hockey and women’s lacrosse will be painted for each of the seasons.
“The problem that we’ve had is [that] the women’s lacrosse [team] has yet to define a permanent dimension under the [MIAA] so we don’t know if they’re going to follow men’s lacrosse [dimensions or not]. Right now, they’re a little off here and there, so in the contract, there are seven years of painting the field. Each fall, they’ll paint it for women’s field hockey and in the spring for women’s lacrosse.
“Football will be white, soccer will be yellow and men’s lacrosse will be blue,” Warrington continued. “For football, the hatch marks won’t be put on until the fall because that just confuses everything; but the numbers and the lines will be [permanent.]”
The color of the turf, Warrington said, will be green and there will be a big, blue “B” in the center of the field.