The renovation of the football/baseball area of Victory Field has provided an artificial turf field enjoyed by many high school, youth and other sports teams, but it was not approved without opposition.
Some worried about the safety of having an artificial turf with the plastic grass and recycled tires used as filling. Others objected to the price tag - $2.7 million. The town borrowed $3 million to pay for the project, but some of the cost has been offset by donations.
The teams that use the new field say it has been a great improvement.
The captains of the Watertown High School wrote in a letter to the town: "The turf field has been an excellent addition for Watertown. First and most significant, the turf field allows sports to continue through bad weather. Too often in our high school careers have games and practices been cancelled because of rain, but with the turf, that is no longer an issue."
Bob Johnson, president of Watertown Youth Lacrosse, said he is thankful for the new field, and supports phase 2 of the improvements.
"As the President of Watertown Youth Lacrosse, I was thrilled that close to 250 more young boy and girl athletes would get the chance to practice and play on the new turf field. When the program was founded in 2008, Recreation Director Tom Sullivan was very supportive of our program, but knew that field space would be our single biggest obstacle to building the program," Johnson wrote in a letter to the town.
Phase 2 includes the track and field amenities, an artificial turf field, five tennis courts, one basketball court, a new tot lot surface, additional parking, storage units, lights for field, track and parking, according to Recreation Director Peter Centola.
Efforts to build the second phase of Victory Field's renovation have just started, Centola said.
"Please remember that Phase 2 is in the very early stages of discussion and that there is no guarantee that it will be considered," Centola said.
The Recreation Department is accepting letters about the first phase and plans for a second phase, Centola said. Information can be sent by email to email@example.com in a Word document.
Residents can discuss this project and other Recreation Department projects on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. in the Lower Hearing Room of the Town Hall.