Board approves recreation park (5/13/10)

May 13, 2010

By Greg Duggan

Observer staff

Construction on a new recreation park behind Allen Brook School could begin in a matter of weeks.

The Development Review Board gave the park a discretionary permit on Tuesday night. The park can now move forward with building permits from the town, and still needs to finalize state permits.

Allen Brook Principal John Terko, in his April report to the Williston School Board, wrote that work on the fields will begin at the end of the month and run through the summer. Planning Director Ken Belliveau said he’d be surprised if construction begins that soon, as the project still requires permits.

As Recreation Director Kevin Finnegan said, however, “We’re definitely getting close.”

Once the permits are lined up, the Recreation Committee can put out a request for proposals and hire a construction company.

The first phase of construction will bring two multi-purpose fields for sports including soccer and lacrosse. Finnegan said once the fields are built, people will need to wait at least a year to use them as the grass takes hold.

Much of the discussion at Tuesday night’s Development Review Board meeting focused on parking issues, and how many spaces would be needed. Some members argued for building additional parking immediately, while others advocated for a phased approach. Belliveau said the board eventually opted for phased parking.

A few nearby residents also questioned the lighting of the fields and courts. Finnegan said the Recreation Committee has yet to finalize lighting plans, but is likely to come up with requirements to have lights go out by 10 p.m., or to prohibit baseball and softball games from starting an inning after 10 p.m.

After construction of the multipurpose fields, subsequent building phases will include tennis and basketball courts, softball and baseball fields and a playground.

Finnegan said the entire park is expected to take more than 10 years to build.

“It’s a nice joint venture here with the school and the town,” Terko said.