By MICHAEL LETENDRE
For a long while now, the conversation of an all-weather field in Bristol stopped at places like Rockwell Park, the Boulevard and Page Park.
Seemingly, every location came to a dead end, turned into a no-go and ultimately, there was just talk and very little action.
Not any more.
A new proposal was brought up at the recent field’s meeting this past week and instead of going with the one all-weather field, the deal could be for two playing surfaces – one for each public high school in town.
“As of now, the proposal is to put in two [all-weather] fields, one at Bristol Eastern and one at Bristol Central,” said Bristol Eastern gym teacher Chris D’Amato. “But there still is a long process this has to go through. It has to go to the board of finance, it has to go to city council, but as of the field’s meeting last night (August 18), the proposal brought forward to that committee was to start looking at the two high schools to put the fields.”
That proposal would still allow other leagues to use the fields after school is out of session and with two fields in the mix, that usage would increase dramatically.
“In my own personal opinion, if you put them at the schools, you’re going get the most use out of them,” said D’Amato. “You’re going to get the most feet on them, whether that’s soccer, lacrosse, football…you’ll have weekends that are available, you’ll have all summer that’s available. You’ll have time after the high school kids are done available. If we can come up with one computer system where a schedule is available to everyone in town and it’s easily accessible, which I think the next step in this process is to do, then I believe it’s a win-win for everybody.”
The cost would be around $2.5 million for the entire project and could be completed by the fall scholastic season of 2016.
There are still plenty of hurdles this proposal must jump through for this project to get the green light but with towns like Avon and Plainville getting ready to construct all-weather fields, the time is at hand for Bristol to follow suit.
And that time is now.