After years of community requests to install a soccer field within the Village of Patchogue, trustees recently announced preliminary discussions to do so.
Groundbreaking is expected this fall, with installation by the spring of 2023. Once installed, the fields will be used primarily for organized leagues with available time for free play, said parks director Maria Giustizia. However, the cost of the fields will require accountability.
“This is something people have been asking for, and we’re really excited to be able to provide that to the community,” she said.
According to trustee Joseph Keyes, the single field will be a miniature-sized soccer field to both fit the area available behind the Parks and Recreation Building at 380 Bay Avenue and also allow for the right size for youth soccer. It will be grass, outfitted with nets, level ground and proper lining.
Keyes said the quote to create the field came in at about $98,000, and they are still waiting on pricing for fencing to protect the field. The cost will come out of the park’s budget, should it be approved.
Trustee Liz Carrillo, who helps represent the Hispanic community, noted that this project is not only something the Hispanic community has been asking for, but also all kids of the village.
If you pass by the grassy areas on Rider Avenue, she said, you will often find children and parents playing on makeshift fields with cones.
“So many families have been asking for this,” she said. “The children just love soccer so much, and now they [can] enjoy it just like we have everything else: basketball, softball, baseball, tennis.”
Earlier this year, soccer fields were requested on behalf of the community at a community projects input meeting, hosted by the CDA in February. The only speaker during the public hearing, Carrillo, suggested the creation of soccer fields somewhere in the village at the request of several residents.
At that time, the CDA board welcomed the idea, suggesting the possible area behind the Parks and Recreation Building, where they currently see residents play soccer unofficially in the open field. She also noted that where residents currently play behind the basketball fields, there are holes in the grass, posing a physical danger.
“Soccer brings the community together, with so many different cultures getting together,” Camilo Salazar, CDA alternate board member, said at that time, making note of the impact it would have on the Hispanic community. “I think it’s a good idea, especially for the children.”
According to old census data, about 30 percent of the Patchogue community is Latino. Patchogue’s population reflects about 60 percent white, 23 percent white-Hispanic and almost 7 percent Hispanic, just about 4.5 percent African American, and just under 3 percent Asian.
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