By ROB GLIDDEN
Construction of the new artificial turf field at Southington High School is moving swiftly, as officials hope to have it done in enough time to accommodate events in late October.
Since late August, the construction crew has been clearing away the old field to make room for the new, hoping to have the turf ready sometime during the last week of October. Ideally, the field will be ready for the SHS marching band’s Music of the Knight event on Oct. 27 and a home football game on Oct. 26.
“The way the process is going is outstanding and the weather has been on our side,” said Michael DeFeo, who chaired the Turf Committee. “I’m very happy with it.”
DeFeo has also been named Chairman of the new Turf Advisory Committee, which the Town Council established at their last meeting. Other board members include Town Councilors Dawn Miceli and Peter Romano, Board of Education Chairman Brian Goralski and Board of Finance Vice-Chairman Joe Labieniec. Serving as ex-officio members are Athletic Director Eric Swallow, Parks Director David Lapreay and Parks Commissioner John Fontana.
“The charge of this committee is to oversee the operations of the new field,” said Town Council Chairman John Dobbins. “This includes scheduling, fundraising, and going over agreements between the town and the Board of Education.”
DeFeo gave a similar presentation at the BOE’s meeting later in the week, but briefly worried the officials when he said the target date for completion of the project was on October 31, which would be after Music of the Knight and the football game.
“I’ve even been hearing rumblings around town about it not being done until Thanksgiving,” said board member Colleen Clark. “I was under the impression that this would be done by the 25 [of October].”
DeFeo clarified that the target date was sometime during the last week of October. The construction was two days ahead of schedule, making him confident it would be finished in time to accommodate the events.
Meanwhile, school officials said they plan to try and make the most of the field after its completion.
“Sooner rather than later, we will be coming to you with a proposal for rental,” said Superintendent Dr. Joseph Erardi. “We don’t want to waste any time after it’s done.”