If there are sports in the spring and next fall at Bunnell, there will be a lot more practice and game space for every outdoor team.
A renovation project at the team’s athletic complex resurfaced the stadium field, but the second part, ongoing, will put an artificial surface on the baseball field and put a regulation multi-use field in the outfield.
How much capacity does that add for Bulldogs teams? “Basically tenfold,” athletic director Wayne Thrall said.
Fall and spring sports will use the field and the stadium field. Junior varsity and freshman games and practices will be easier to schedule.
“It’ll free up time in the evening for the band to practice,” Thrall said.
Across the Housatonic river in Milford, both Law and Foran also have new multi-use fields in progress.
Law has torn up the grass field that had been bookended by its baseball and softball diamonds. The new complex will include a softball field in the same place; a baseball diamond angled with home plate a little more toward the south than the east to try to take the late-afternoon sun out of the batters’ eyes; and a new field lined for soccer, lacrosse and football.
Week 3 Turf Project Update: Yup, we used to play baseball, softball and soccer on there and soon will again on the best field in CT!!! pic.twitter.com/gmxeAhK2cW
— Jonathan Law Athletics (@JLHSAthletics) August 20, 2020
Athletic director V.J. Sarullo said the soccer/football/lacrosse field will avoid both the softball and baseball infields as well as the softball dugouts, which will remain in place.
“The big thing is going to be, unless it’s pouring out when an actual game is going to be played, we’re going to be able to play,” Sarullo said. “On a normal spring day, if it rains in the morning on a grass field, you’re still going to have a rainout. Now unless it’s pouring we’ll be able to practice and play, too.”
Junior varsity soccer and lacrosse will get most of the game use out of the new field, though varsity teams could play there as well if the stadium field is in use. The project is expected to be done by early November.
Week 2 turf project update includes baseball backstop and dugouts down and a whole lot of digging everywhere… pic.twitter.com/w2o60Ja9zv
— Jonathan Law Athletics (@JLHSAthletics) August 11, 2020
Kelly Martin Tighe Field in Milford, across French Drive from Foran’s Vito DeVito Complex, is getting work done as well. That’s a city field, not a school field, though the Lions’ soccer and, in the spring, baseball and lacrosse programs practice on it.
Work begins on the Kelly Martin Tighe Field! pic.twitter.com/OnMqtOJFn0
— Foran High Athletics (@ForanSports_AV) August 20, 2020
The Lions remade their softball field in the spring and planned to dedicate it to alumna Danni Kemp, who died at age 19 of an inoperable brain tumor in 2017, but the COVID-19 pandemic ended spring sports before they began.
Turf first replaced grass in 2008 at Bunnell’s stadium field, which the school named last year for former coach Bob Mastroni.
This summer’s resurfacing put down FieldTurf and added Mastroni’s name to the field between one set of 20- and 30-yard-lines in front of the bleachers.
— Game Time Sports Construction (@GAMETIMESportCo) August 21, 2020
“The field got returfed. The track was recoated and relined,” Thrall said.
“We’ve got new goals, new safety netting in the end zones.”
There’s also new LED lighting.
If all goes as planned, the baseball and multi-use field should be done by mid-November, Thrall said.
Sunset on our soon to be beautiful complex! Things are moving rapidly. Stay tuned. pic.twitter.com/9NTrJL9Pc2
— Bunnell Bulldogs Baseball (@BaseballBunnell) July 27, 2020
A project to upgrade Amity’s complex got voter approval almost a year ago, and construction was set to begin last month, but that construction has stopped.
“We had notification that a group from Woodbridge is appealing the Town of Woodbridge Planning and Zoning Commission’s decision for our permits,” athletic director Ernie Goodwin said. “We’re just pretty much holding, and we’ll see what happens in the courts.”
Concrete piers are in place for new bleachers, but that’s about all that was done before progress stopped. With winter coming, weather could prevent further progress if the project gets a final go-ahead. Work on lights and a new scoreboard is less weather-reliant.
Our Athletic Facility upgrades have officially started! First up, bleachers in the hill at our grass soccer/lacrosse field!! GO SPARTANS! #AR5 @AmityRegionalHS @orangectlive01 @GameTimeCT @nhregister #wewillplayagain pic.twitter.com/Fl7fS7MPHO
— Amity HS Athletics (@amityathletics) July 22, 2020
“We were very excited to have all our senior nights in the new stadium,” Goodwin said. “That’s not going to happen.”
First night shots of the field pic.twitter.com/t4JncjCwkm
— Killingly (@KHS_Athletics1) August 18, 2020
In the eastern part of the state, Killingly has a new turf field, while Ledyard has a new track and turf field. Both schools replaced grass fields.
— Jim Buonocore (@ledyardsports) July 22, 2020