In March voters approved funding for a maintenance building and new lighting at the Nelson Road lower softball field. At their monthly meeting, the Recreation Committee provided an update on both projects and a variety of other activities.
Committee Member Art Psaledas shared that Jim Edwards, the sponsor of the citizen’s petitioned warrant article, has solicited multiple bids for the field lighting work and would soon be recommending a company to do the work. Work is anticipated to begin when the softball season is over. This is necessary because installation of the lights will require moving construction equipment across the fields.
Edwards is working one potential issue related to power requirements. More power may be required for the new lights. He is exploring the possibility of drawing power from the cell tower located adjacent to the field.
Planning for the approved recreation maintenance building is well underway. The Committee has identified a likely location for it at the Continental Park soccer complex at 96 West Road. One advantage of this site is that it is visible from West Road which will help deter unauthorized access. The next step is to have the builder verify that the chosen location is buildable.
The Committee was originally planning a metal building, but recent increases in the cost of metal pushed the project cost over the voter approved amount. Instead, the building will now be constructed of wood. Shifting to wood will save about $50,000. The hope is that the building will be in place in the early Fall.
The Committee also got an update on plans for the introduction of a premier soccer program to complement the recreation programs. The addition of a more advanced soccer offering comes on the heels of the recent unification of the Londonderry Recreation and Londonderry United organizations. Psaledas said, “The long-range goal is to have Londonderry kids play in Londonderry.”
Alternate Member Todd Ellis shared that he had explored partnerships with existing programs and came to an agreement with the FC Stars program to introduce some teams that would be based in Londonderry. While specifics of teams are still being worked out, the goal is to start slowly with two teams, one boys and one girls, to begin play this Fall. The age group would be either U10 or U12. If things go well, additional teams could be added in the future.
Psaledas shared that this year’s summer recreation program will be held at South School and that there was a great pool of high school students who applied for the counselor positions.
In other news, the areas around the soccer fields on West Road have been sprayed for ticks. The parking lots at the soccer fields have been restriped and the lots at the Nelson Road LAFA complex will be restriped when the school year ends, most likely in July. The total cost for painting both lots is $3,500.