DPW DIRECTOR John Tomasz watches contractors remove trees from the Lynnfield Middle School track and field complex July 27. (Dan Tomasello Photo)

DPW DIRECTOR John Tomasz watches contractors remove trees from the Lynnfield Middle School track and field complex July 27. (Dan Tomasello Photo)

Published in the August 2, 2017 edition.


LYNNFIELD — The Lynnfield Middle School track and field project is officially underway, Fields Committee Chairman Arthur Bourque said last week.

Bourque said a number of trees located at the site have been taken down and the LMS track and field complex “looks huge with the new area that has been opened up.”

“The storage building is down, the rubberized track surface is up and we are waiting for the removal of the asphalt,” said Bourque in an email sent to the Villager. “We are working diligently with the contractor to make some adjustments to the plan based on some discoveries we have made once we opened up the area. But so far, there are no issues that will hold us up.”

Bourque noted David W. White and Son, which completed the Lynnfield High School fields complex in 2014, is undertaking this project.

“(The project) includes replacement of the track and all track venues,” said Bourque. “The track will be a first class track facility.”

Bourque said, “the edge of the track will run 10 feet off the concessions building.”

“The concessions building is going to stay, but the track is going to be right in front of where the concessions building is,” said Bourque.

As part of the project, Bourque said contractors are “widening the radius of the corners of the track so we can install a grass field that is wider than the previous field.”

“The old field was designed purely for football because when it was built it in 1952 or 1953, football was really the only sport that was played on these fields,” said Bourque. “Today, we have soccer, lacrosse and field hockey, all of which require bigger fields. Because of that, the new field is going to have expanded radiuses on the corners and it’s going to be wider. The track is going to be around that.”

Bourque said the field will be lined for different sports.

“We will have the ability to play whatever we want to play out here,” said Bourque. “This field is going to be all-natural turf and will be unmarked, so we can put whatever we want to put here on a seasonal basis. If the high school decides they want to play lacrosse on a grass field, we can put a lacrosse field in here. We will just paint it for the season. It will give us a lot of latitude as to what we do by the season. The problem we have had in the past is this field was only good for football. If you tried to come out here and play lacrosse, it wasn’t wide enough. Now, we will be able to do whatever we want to do.”

Bourque said the natural grass field will include a “new deep well and drainage.”

“The awarded contract included sod, not seed,” Bourque added.

Bourque said a new metal storage building will be built as part of the project in order to store track equipment.

“The existing press box will be remaining and we will be coming into the field after the construction project is complete to try and dress that building up and add a set of stairs to access the press box,” said Bourque. “Due to complications with installation of a septic system, we will be leaving the composting toilets at that location that are in the press box box building.”

Towable bleachers

Additionally, Bourque said the project involved “installing a set of towable bleachers on a pad that will be installed in front of the press box.”

“Those bleachers will be towable so we can move them to the high school for Thanksgiving and graduation when we need extra seating,” said Bourque.

While Bourque said contractors are “still working on the plan to get power and water” into the LMS track and field area, he said there will be new water and power sources that were made by possible by Lynnfield Center Water District (LCWD) Superintendent Kenny Burnham.

“When the subdivision on Parsons Avenue was put in, (Burnham) asked the Planning Board to put an easement in, which will allow us to bring water and power in from Parsons Avenue,” said Bourque. “We are going to take advantage of that easement and bring in a brand new water service with a two-inch pipe and bring in brand new power because the old service was through the trees in the overhead. If we had a bad storm, we lost the wires. All of this is going to come in underground, so we are going to create a whole new utility easement in here. We are going to put in a brand new deep well and a robust irrigation system in.”

While the LMS track and field complex will include new power and water supplies, lights will not be installed.

Bourque said “the track project is on schedule to be substantially complete by October 10.”

“We received good news last week and believe we can get the urethane surface down in the fall, so it will be available for track in the spring,” said Bourque. “All work is scheduled to be completed by Thanksgiving of this year. There is a slight possibility that the storage building at the track will not be complete, but we expect it to be done by the spring.”

Softball field project

Bourque said the middle school softball field will also be overhauled as part of the project.

“That project needs to be completed before the end of August so we will be seeing some action out there shortly,” said Bourque. “They will be installing a deep well at that location and the field, including the infield, will be getting a new irrigation system. The softball infield will be removed and new clay that meets the Lynnfield clay standard will be installed.”

Additionally, Bourque said the outfield will be removed and a new drainage and irrigation system will be installed. Similar to the LMS field, Bourque said sod will be planted.

“We will be cleaning up the area around the field including the batting cage,” said Bourque. “The renovations at this field are intended to mirror the improvements that were made at the middle school baseball field last year. When we are done, this field should be a great facility.”

Thanks local officials

Bourque thanked a number of local officials for their assistance during the beginning stages of the LMS track and field project.

“I want to thank the Town Administrator Jim Boudreau for figuring out how to finance this project and get it through Town Meeting,” said Bourque. “I have had tremendous support from John Tomasz and Charlie Richter from the DPW on this project, and they are both heavily involved in this process.”

During the Villager’s visit to the site last week, Tomasz was present while watching contractors remove trees.

Bourque also thanked Conservation Administrator Betty Adelson and the Conservation Commission for being “extremely cooperative as we struggled with dates and permits to get this work done.”

“Betty Adelson has been very helpful in trying to get us through the ConCom,” said Bourque.

Bourque also thanked the residents who “went to Town Meeting in April to support this (project).”

“I am hopeful that when we are done with this project, we will still have enough money remaining to make repairs at some of the remaining fields in Lynnfield,” said Bourque. “We should all be proud of what is being done here. Our athletes young and old will have some of the nicest facilities in the east to play on, and it is the direct result of great cooperation of many (residents) and town officials.”

Looking ahead, Bourque said contractors are “in good shape.”

“We have discovered a couple of small things we didn’t know about,” he said. “There is a vent pipe that runs out of the composting toilets that we weren’t aware was there. That is going to have to be rerouted and we are working on those plans.”