Watertown residents will have a place to skate outdoors during the winter after renovation work is completed at Casey Park.
The park on Watertown Street will have a number of improvements as part of the renovation project. Recreation Director Peter Centola presented the latest plans to the Town Council Tuesday night, which includes upgrades to the little league baseball field, rebuilding the tennis courts, new lights for the basketball courts and addition of parking spaces.
The renovations will cost an estimated $550,000, Centola said, and $90,000 has already been set aside in the Fiscal 2013 budget. The remainder would have to be borrowed by the town.
The rink would go on part of the area where the tennis courts now stand, said Glen Howard, project manager for design firm CDM Smith.
"The three tennis courts will be demolished and replaced by two tennis courts and the multipurpose street hockey rink," Howard said.
The hockey rink will have board with a chain link fence above it, Howard said. During the winter, it can be flooded and frozen for outdoor skating and hockey.
Centola said the Recreation Department will oversee the rink, but he expects that during the winter residents and other users will likely be the ones shovelling snow and making sure the rink remains open for skating.
Little League Field
A number of improvements will be made to the baseball field at Casey Park, which is used by Watetown Little League Baseball. A new scoreboard will be installed, bleachers will be improved, a backstop will be added and a retaining wall will be removed. Also, some of the lights may be moved.
"A few of the light poles do not make sense and there is a retaining wall that was installed in an area where there used to be bleachers," Howard said.
In order to keep the project on track so the baseball field is ready for the start of little league, Howard said, the project should go to bid by late January. That way, a bid can be awarded by mid-February, and the contractor can get out on site by late February or early March. Howard anticipates construction will take 1.5 to 2 months.
A few parking spaces will be added on Aldrich Road near the basketball court. Currently there are none.
The park also has no working water fountain, Howard said, so one will be installed.
The lights at the basketball court will be improved, a move which was welcomed by Town Councilor Ken Woodland.
"I am happy to see the lights are being replaced," Woodland said. "I know a lot of young professionals who use the court a lot."
The Town Council voted to approve the timeline for the project on Tuesday, but they have not yet approved the borrowing for the project. That will come before the council at a future meeting.