NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – The first meeting of the ad hoc Northbridge Fields Committee will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Memorial Town Hall, 7 Main St.
A committee to study the use and condition of the town’s athletic fields was proposed by Interim Schools Superintendent Nancy Spitulnik in June after spring Town Meeting voters rejected a proposal to install artificial turf at Lasell Field.
The $900,000 project was proposed by the group Friends of Lasell Field who argued that overuse of the school’s main playing field had made it unsafe for players, and many residents have expressed concern there is no long-term maintenance program in place for town fields.
Members of the committee include representatives from the School Committee, Board of Selectmen, Parks and Recreation Commission, the school’s athletic director, the town’s Department of Public Works director, a high school student, a representative from the Whitinsville Christian School and an interested resident.
While the committee is looking at ways to improve Lasell Field on a short-term basis, Spitulnik suggested the solution is to take a long-term look at each field and how it is used and maintained.
The objectives of the committee are to research and propose solutions to questions such as:
- What are the current conditions of the town fields, and what is required short term to maintain their safety and upkeep?
- Are there issues in the scheduling of the use of the fields among school, town and community groups, especially as they impact maintenance, and what can be done to resolve any issues?
- Are there long-term issues related to the continued maintenance and upkeep of the fields so they can be safely used for the next 10 to 15 years?
- What are the long-term projects for the capacity and use of the current fields, and at some point would there be a need to develop additional fields?
- If money is required for any of these initiatives, what would be the source of the money.