Find Athletic Fields project vote results HERE.
The Community Athletic and Recreation Facilities Initiative consists of two components: improving Town athletic fields and constructing additional fields; and repairing and restoring the Town’s Paul M. Spiegel Community Center. Bond funding for the Community Athletic Fields Improvement Project plan was approved by a public vote held Tuesday, September 16, 2014. For information about the Community Center Project, please see the COMMUNITY CENTER PROJECT PAGE.
The Town of Pittsford has been working since 2012 on developing a solution to resolve issues related to unsatisfactory athletic field conditions stemming from overuse/excessive demand, the inability to take fields off-line to “rest” and regenerate, and grading/drainage issues while also addressing a need for improved accessibility for all to town athletic fields. Over the past several years the Town also has been dealing with increasing maintenance issues at the Spiegel Community Center and the necessity to address the long-term needs of the building. An overview of the Community Athletic and Recreation Facilities Initiative is below and additional information may be found in the following documents:
To address overuse and increased demand, needed offline time for field regeneration, grading/drainage issues, and access for all abilities, the Town Board engaged LaBella Associates to assist in preparing a concept plan for the improvement and upgrading of the town’s athletic fields, with input from town staff, board members, community groups and the Pittsford Central School District. The athletic fields plan takes into account information gathered and assessed by the Pittsford Central School District’s Athletic Fields Use study.
The town’s athletic fields plan was developed in collaboration with the School District’s own fields upgrade project, which is currently underway; improvements to Town athletic facilities, in combination with the improvements at two Pittsford Central School District athletic fields, are being proposed to meet the overall current and future athletic fields needs of the Pittsford community in a cost-effective manner. Various stages of the athletic fields preliminary plan were presented to Town Board, with opportunity for public questions and input, in 2012, 2013 and earlier this year (see Athletic Fields Improvement Project Background sheet for further details).
The proposed improvements to athletic fields support the Town’s commitment to providing high quality athletic facilities and offering increased access to playing fields for youth and adults throughout the community. The project would improve athletic fields at the Town’s Great Embankment Park (631 Marsh Road), Thornell Farm Park (480 Mendon Road) and Hopkins Park (5 Barker Road) and create new fields at the Town’s property north of Willard Road and adjacent to the Calkins Road Middle School. The proposed improvements include constructing or reconfiguring athletic fields, playgrounds, parking areas, sidewalks, drainage and restrooms and providing increased handicapped accessibility. A synthetic turf field with lights is also proposed at Thornell Farm Park. A more detailed description of the project’s proposed elements can found on the Athletic Fields Improvement Project summary sheet.
“The major problem with existing fields involves intensity of use, which impedes adequate preventive and ongoing maintenance,” said Town Deputy Supervisor Jared Lusk, who has overseen the fields project from its inception, as the Town Board’s point person. “In order to be in fit condition, athletic fields need to rest and regenerate. Due to the level of demand, that doesn’t happen. This plan will help correct that problem, providing more fields, and correcting drainage issues that frequently take our fields off-line. The upgrades will bring our fields to the standard demanded by current and anticipated use.”
Town athletic fields are used by a variety of youth sports leagues including those for football, baseball, softball, soccer, and lacrosse. Teams need fields for practice times as well as games, therefore athletic fields in Pittsford are in high demand. For example, Mustangs youth soccer includes 1,600 youth from ages 5 – 19, the Youth Lacrosse program in Pittsford serves 300 youth in kindergarten through 6th grade and approximately 200 junior high and high school youth, and the Pittsford Youth Football program involves six teams and six cheerleading squads. Adult sports leagues are also in need of field time. The proposed plan for athletic fields improvements includes charging a field use fee to groups using the fields; currently the Town does not charge any usage fees.
Fields Cost and Financing
The Athletic Fields Improvement Project received funding from a bond issue of $6 million (toward an estimated $6.3 million project cost), approved by voters via a public referendum in September of 2014.
The voter-approved bonding for the initiative, in the amount of $6 million, will the cost to the average home assessed at $272,500 not more than $47 per year for 15 years.
Spiegel Community Center Restoration and Improvements
For current information on the Spiegel Community Center project, please see the Community Center Renovation Project page.