Published in the February 9, 2017 edition

By Bill Laforme

NORTH READING – A proposal to install restrooms at the Arthur Kenney field is taking shape with an eye on having design and cost estimates ready for an expected public hearing on March 6, Athletic Facilities Committee Chair Mel Webster told the Transcript in a recent conversation. The special town meeting, which will include a warrant article on funding the restrooms, is on March 13.

Webster said that at the committee’s last meeting, members voted to have CBI Consulting develop detailed designs for the proposed restrooms. The goal for the price is to be as close to $500,000 as possible, added Webster.

Along with the restrooms, there are also plans to place a concrete slab foundation, with utility connections, at the site with an eye on building a concessions stand at some point in the future. The current concessions stand at the field would have to come down because of the planned location of the restrooms. At Monday night’s selectmen’s meeting, Selectman Steven O’Leary estimated the cost of the slab foundation would be around $50,000.

If town meeting voters approve the restroom plan, the next step will be to put the project out to bid, added Webster. “The restroom building would be the main bid, with the concrete slab being an alt add. That means we make the decision, after we get the bids back, if we want to also do the slab,” he explained in an email.

Looking ahead, Webster also indicated that the school department and Parks and Recreation will work with groups using the current concession stand on ways to continue their efforts. “If everything moves along on schedule, the goal is to have the restroom building before the 2017 high school football season,” said Webster, adding that the consulting firm has already warned that this will be a difficult schedule to meet.