Published in the December 6, 2017 edition

CONTRACTORS have finished work on the Lynnfield Middle School softball field this fall. (Dan Tomasello Photo)


LYNNFIELD — Contractors are close to finishing the revamped Lynnfield Middle School track and field complex and LMS softball field, Fields Committee Chairman Arthur Bourque said at last week’s School Committee meeting.

Town Meeting voted to allocate $2.25 million for the track and fields project in April. Bourque said the LMS track and field project is in its “final stages.” He said sod has been laid onto the field. He said concrete has been poured for the LMS track and field complex’s new pre-fabricated storage building.

“The concrete needs to be cured for about a week and the building construction company will here a week from (Dec. 4),” said Bourque. “It’s not weather sensitive, so they can do it if it’s cold or snows. We will get that going up in the next couple of weeks or a month. I am very confident that building will be done by the spring.”

Bourque said the new field at the LMS track and field complex has been installed.

The troublesome irrigation system is good to go as well. “We had quite a fight with water at all of these fields,” said Bourque. “We got the well in there, and we are producing about 30 gallons per minute roughly. We have laid the pipe that goes across to the middle school softball field, so we have irrigation at the middle school softball field which is fully sodded.”

Bourque said the well’s pump has been tested, but said the electrical infrastructure will be installed this week. He said the shot put pit was completed last week.

“We are pretty close to wrapping up what we are going to do this fall,” said Bourque.

Bourque said contractors will return to the LMS track and fields complex in the spring in order to finish paving, landscaping, applying the polyurethane on the track and some additional loose ends.

“When we come back in the spring, we are going to add a top coat of paving in front of the building and some other areas,” said Bourque. “The track has got its final coat of hot top on it, and that will be resurfaced by Cape and Island Tennis and Track. They are going to put a polyurethane surface on it in June of next year. We are going to paint temporary lines on it in the spring as soon as we can get on it so the track teams can practice.”

Bourque said additional track equipment will be ready for the teams to use during practice.

“The only thing they won’t have is a finished track to run on,” said Bourque. “They will run on the finished hot top.”

LMS softball, baseball fields

In addition to laying sod on the LMS softball field, Bourque said the infield has been finished and concrete will be installed behind the backstop.

“We are going to have a nice concrete walkway that goes between the dugouts,” said Bourque. “That softball field is going to be a first class all-grass softball field when we are done. With the exception of having a short left field, that is going to be a wonderful place to play for the kids that play on the JV team and amateur softball teams.”

Bourque said the town is going to replace the existing trailer so there will be ample storage for the JV and youth softball programs.

Additionally, Bourque said a drainage system has been installed along the LMS baseball field’s first baseline.

SC reaction

School Committee member Rich Sjoberg noted the DPW recently removed vines and weeds that covered the LMS softball field’s fence.

“It looks such much nicer out there,” said Sjoberg.

Bourque agreed.

“Working with the director of the DPW, John Tomasz, on this project has been a pleasure for me,” said Bourque. “Between the two of us, we are out on that field three or four times a day. When he spots something at 7 o’clock in the morning and I find something at 9 o’clock in the morning, we are back with a solution in the early afternoon.”

Bourque recalled asking Tomasz to remove the weeds and vines after they visited the field. He also noted Tomasz had a DPW crew removing weeds from the LMS baseball field’s clay. He said the crew edged the infield, outfield and base paths of the baseball field as well.

“(Tomasz) is an incredibly hard worker and is incredibly creative,” said Bourque. “The proactive stuff we never saw before is really such a pleasure to see. He is acutely aware of what is going on and is getting stuff done.”

In response to a question from School Committee member Jamie Hayman, Bourque said the field at the LMS track and field complex will not be used next spring and summer in order to allow the sod to grow.

“We won’t get onto that field until the fall of 2018,” said Bourque.

School Committee Chairman Tim Doyle inquired about the status of the field improvements at the two elementary schools.

“This report should probably be titled the good, the bad and the ugly,” said Bourque. “The good news is we are going to wrap up a beautiful new track and field and softball field. The bad news is when we get done with this project, we will probably have about $50,000 left in the account. We have had some huge cost overruns with this project from the original bid number, some of which were optional things we chose to do to make it a better complex, but many of which were beyond our control. There was excessive amounts of granite in the ground, and we had to jackhammer two weeks longer than we expected. We had far more trees overgrowing the field than we thought, so we had to get those taken down.”

Bourque said contractors will be trying to install a new well at Huckleberry Hill School after previous attempts were unsuccessful last summer.

“That’s assuming we still have about $50,000 when we are done with this project,” said Bourque. “If we can water there, we can go back in and try to fix that field. That is next on the list.”