Turf is Planted at MHS
By Chris Villani Sports Reporter/Columnist · December 09, 2011
The soon to be completed Milford Fields Project is heading down the home stretch. The goalposts just need to aligned. The next phase will be to redo the softball field and the bathroom facilities. Jane Bigda photo
When Milford High Schools athletic teams return in the fall, they will do so to a brand new artificial turf, multipurpose playing surface on the MHS outdoor athletic complex. Fans entering the complex in the spring could be treated to a track meet, a tennis match, and a softball game all at once. Much of the field project has been completed, according to Selectman Brian Murray, who is serving as the Chairman of the Community Fields Committee.
"The actual field is in, the goalposts should be aligned this week and the bleachers are all done, as is the press box," said Murray. "In addition, the lights are in and the tennis courts are complete."
The project was approved earlier this year and is a welcome addition to the MHS athletic scene. "This was a long time coming, we have not had any renovations to our athletic field since the school was built in the mid 1970s," said Milford High Athletic Director Rich Piergustavo while the proposal was being considered last Spring. "If you did not make any upgrades on your house for 40 years, it would be in a state of disrepair."
Among the major items that still need to be completed includes the track surface, which requires a couple of weeks of warmer temperatures in order to set properly, something that will not be available until the Spring. The track team will be able to use the asphalt surface currently coating the track for practice, but will not be able to compete there. Similarly, the contractors will likely not be able to put the final surface on the tennis courts until April. All in all, Murray is pleased with the way the project has come out so far.
"The field is just unbelievable," he said. "It really opened up the area and the turf is a tremendous product."
Murray said the field has been lined for all five sports that will use the facility, football, soccer, field hockey, and girls' & boys' lacrosse. The field will not require any additional painting, just basic clean up and grooming a few times a year. With much of the work completed on the first part of the project, and given the amount of money saved from the initial estimates, Murray said the committee is now looking into a second phase that would include renovating the softball field and constructing a restroom facility at the center of the complex.
"We will look to put the bid out over the winter and probably do the work after the coming softball season," he said, adding that the softball project would include new irrigation, a new infill on the infield, outfield fence, and dugouts.
Murray said fans will truly be able to appreciate the work that has been done once the teams are out there competing. "It's great because we can have several sports going on at once in one location," he said. "Folks are really going to see how magnificent it is once the games start."