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Turf Installation Set to Begin; School Closes Fontana Field

Southington High School officially closed Fontana Field Thursday and construction is set to begin with the hope that the field will reopen in October.

Fontana Field is closed until further notice.

The signs hanging around the construction fencing make it clear that the field is not to be used for any activities as the town prepares for the installation of artifical turf and a new track, a project that is expected to begin in the very near future.

Athletic Director Eric Swallow said Thursday that there will be no use of the field during construction and games will be relocated to neutral locations.

"There is to be no use of either the field or track at all. No games, no conditioning, no classes," Swallow said in an email.

The Southington Town Council earlier this month approved a motion that will allow for the bonding of the project rather than cash. The project was awarded to Pro Grass, LLC, of Pennsylvania for $875,000. With a 5 percent contingency, costs for the project amount to $918,750.

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Officials with Pro Grass said the field installation would likely be completed by the end of October, although an exact date has not been set. Installation will depend on weather conditions while work is being completed, the company said.

By using bonding to pay for the project, that they will seek to develop a committee that would be tasked with fundraising for the field, helping to offset costs to the town. Specifics regarding the committee have not been released.

In the meantime, Southington's teams and in particular the Blue Knights football program will have to find a new home.

Swallow said the team will be looking at neutral sites, including UConn's Rentschler Field as possibilities. A new football schedule will be released next week, he said.

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Lee McD August 31, 2012 at 10:47 AM
I guess the harbinger of foresight with this is that it couldn't have been done starting mid-June when the field is not used. Instead, the wizards of Beecher and the Southington sports world came up with a plan that puts installation right in the middle of football and track & field season. Rentschler Field! I bet all the old-timers who like to watch a game are going to love toodlin' up the pike to East Hartford for that. This whole thing was conceived in lies and iniquity and it will go that route right until the time we pull it out and reseed the land.
Kim Shurack August 31, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Football team and marching band will have to travel for home games this year. I feel sorry for the seniors affected by this. I hope the field is completed in time for our Marching Band 10/27 Competition. It is one of hte biggest competitions in New England and last year's was cancelled because of the snowstorm. Our kids and parents will be very disappointed if the field is not done in time. Kim S
Arthur Cyr August 31, 2012 at 07:07 PM
The misinformation stated in previous posting by LEE is amazing. WHY don't you people call either the Town Hall or Board of Ed offices and get your information straight. And Lee, BTW, track & Field is a SPRING sport. You can't even get that right.
Mark J August 31, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Why should we believe what you're saying? Makes no difference when track is, the point is we are raming this thing thru when it should rightly wait until a time when the darn thing isn't used. I don't know if anything realistically can be done over the winter (snow, unless like last year, a definite factor) but there is no reason this couldn't wait until next June when schools out. It would be ready for the whole football season and not inconvenience everybody and his brother for the current season. A lot of talk was given to finding lower cost alternatives and I gotta think that it should take no financial "wizard" to figure getting temporary space in ordert rush a job thru is not the lower cost alternative. We're not takling a rush to have the Super Bowl at Fontana Colluseum; this is just a high school football field for cryin' out loud. Lee, you are right on the main issue although your timing's wrong on T&F; fall is cross-country.
Arthur Cyr August 31, 2012 at 08:29 PM
You ALL had your chance to go address the Town Council and Board of Finance about the NEW turf field. NOT ONE OF YOU SHOWED UP. But amazingly now, they're RAMMING it thru. Really? Where have you been for the past SIX MONTHS?? And I'm not quite sure what anybody meant by "conceived in lies and iniquity". I don't remember a Mr. or Mrs. McD at any of the meetings reading accurate info or speaking against this proposal. I suppose I should also correct the other piece of misinformation - This is NOT "just a high school football field", and that's been said over and over again. It will be a Town of Southington Community field for numerous sports like soccer and lacrosse in SHS and to be used by other sports leagues in town. Or do you miss that the first 50 times its been said?
E. Taylor September 01, 2012 at 10:14 AM
Guess who is going to pay the bill for transportation to and from all the sports activities.Maybe the BOE can furnish the true costs for this fiasco This is and always has been about what the BOE wants the BOE gets, I said it once and I will say it again,WHY HASEN'T THE BOE CONTRIBUTED TO THE COST OF THE FIELD!!!
Michael September 01, 2012 at 10:30 AM
Oh, give us a break, Arthur. You're so full of your on baloney you can't see the truth anymore And, by the way, since you know so much, you might as well know this: I know Leland from my club, and knew his late wife. She died about a year ago so it would be hard for her to attend any meetings.
Ed Costello September 01, 2012 at 10:36 AM
Art, With all due respect you talk as if people showed up at the meetings this somehow would not have passed. That is silly. You and I both know what that committe was. As far as it being a community field...........we will see won't we? My prediction is that the "communiy field" will change as soon as the premature wear is noticed. Yes Art you are hard to miss, and you said it more than 50 times. Why don't you give it a break? The field is being built. We all know you supported it. Why can't you just quietly take pleasure that the voices in your head continue to tell you how correct you always are, and let others vent over their dis-pleasure? YFA Ed
C Smith Sr September 01, 2012 at 10:49 AM
Oh so Lee's wrong about track and field but so your admitting that not only football is going to be interrupted but also lacrosse and soccer as well. Now there's great planning - three major sports can't use this "Community" in addition to the community.
C Smith Sr September 01, 2012 at 10:51 AM
Applause. [and, yes, from the look of him, Art would be hard to miss anywhere just one time]
Arthur Cyr September 01, 2012 at 12:58 PM
To Ed Costello, As you know from attending meetings of boards and committees, there are many issues that come up, and the discussions sometimes get interesting. Sometimes we're on the same side of a discussion, sometimes the opposite sides, but the discussion is cordial and based facts. Not so here on the internet with the one-name or no-name wonders with their personal attacks. And yes, I could have let the uninformed spout off and post their incorrect information, but then think about the other people that read and accept that as accurate? Repeating to others, "I read on Patch.com that xxxxxxxxxxxxx." And as for changing the course of a committee, you actually had to be there this year to to watch the West Street Committee doing the backstroke when 50+ people showed up in heated opposition to the initial recommendation to jam "workforce housing" in between two upscale neighborhoods. Lastly Ed, I supported the installation of turf vs real grass, but along with others have "concerns" with the funding methods and timetables. The eventual uses for other sports and community functions we can deal with. Some of us will actually show up and keep them to their word.
Brett Powell September 01, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Actually, speaking for Soccer (and I believe Lacrosse), they are not being interrupted. The existing field could not be used for a CIAC soccer game due to size constrictions, it wasn't a legal field. All soccer games have always been played behind Fontana Field on what is commonly called the Sahara. Both sports will be able to utilize the new turf field.
Rebecca Cormier September 02, 2012 at 12:22 PM
As a parent of 2 high schoolers, I wish they would spend half that money on technology integration. Southington is behind other schools in this respect. Unfortunately, football is valued more than properly preparing our students for the future. I didn't attend the meetings, knowing full well I'd be the only "unsporty" person there.
Ed Costello September 02, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Art, I had no idea that you were responsible for making sure that anything and everything read, written, and talked about was "accurate". What a burden that must be. I guess a big thank you is in order;-) And as for changing the course of a committee..........................come on, really? Two very different committees on two very different issues. All this is like barking at the moon anyway. What is done is done. You can't get the s@*t back into the horse. I am however disapointed in my fellow Republicans. And now.......the last word by Art Cyr
Arthur Cyr September 02, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Ed, Don't dump it all on one party. The course of this town is the responsibility of both Democrats and Republicans AND the 49% of others listed as unaffiliated voters. Everyone needs to speak up before decisions are finalized. Yes, it sometimes work.

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