Getting ball fields up to snuff
Patchogue Parks and Recreation director Maria Giustizia gets ready to catch a softball from BID executive director Dennis Smith at Roberto Clemente Field, the first parks initiative slated for master plan improvement that started last week.


Getting ball fields up to snuff


In anticipation of “Batters up!” next spring, the first leg of Patchogue’s parks project began last week at Roberto Clemente Field in Waldbauer Park (formerly Rider Avenue Park). 

“Residential Fences Corp. started with the demolition and taking apart the backstop,” said Dennis Smith, Business Improvement District executive director and parks project liaison. “The bones of the backstop are still good, but they have to be reprimed and painted. The concrete parts of the dugouts have to be taken out and the field has to be resurfaced.”

L.K. McLean Associates, P.C. Consulting Engineers are slated to produce the markouts for the concrete surrounding the pads the dugouts sit on and to also set the marks for the grades so the field pitches a certain way, he said. When that’s done, RFC will grade the field, install all the fencing and complete the concrete work.

Earlier this year, Mayor Paul Pontieri pointed out drainage issues and the field’s overall unevenness. There are three fields at this location.

Fees and payments to L.K. McLean Associates were approved at the last village board meeting for initial surveying and obtaining existing conditions ($2,550), construction drawings ($4,000) and stakeout ($3,450), for estimated cost not to exceed $10,000.

The genesis for the field’s improvements evolved with input from the Department of Parks and Recreation, athletic director Tom Combs from Patchogue-Medford High School and Peter Feehan, president of the the Patchogue Youth Athletic Association, said Maria Giustizia, parks and recreation director.

 “The plan came from a Brookhaven Town park prototype,” Giustizia added. “We’re copying the one they have in back of Henrietta Acampora Recreation Center in Blue Point. That’s basically what it will look like.”

Smith said the work underway would be the start; next March the turf on the infield, grass on the outfield and an irrigation system will be installed by The LandTek Group Inc., which specializes in athletic field construction. “So it will be grown in the beginning to mid-April, just in time for Pat-Med girls softball,” he said.

“Then the regular Patchogue-Medford and village leagues will start the beginning of May,” Giustizia added.