The following represent key findings and issues summarized by the BDG/Pare Team. 1. The field design standards are not consistent among the many fields within the town of Southborough.
• While the maintenance of these fields is reasonable and their observed conditions were average to fair, they lack reasonable amenities to support the type of play desired or occurring on the fields. Fields lack amenities such as restrooms, parking, field lighting, irrigation, drainage, player and spectator protection fences and or netting. 2. Current design of most fields can not support the demand for use. • There are 4 engineered athletic fields including 1 synthetic turf field that this in need of replacement. Engineered fields can support a higher level of usage because they are designed to meet industry standards including, drainage, soil and turf composition and overall supporting amenities. • There are 14 non engineered fields. The non engineered fields are not as productive due to poor drainage, soil compaction, lack of irrigation and turf type. Non engineered fields have not been designed to industry standards for athletic fields, often times these fields are graded and seeded and sometimes they occur in general open space which creates additional stress on the recreation system. Non engineered fields do not present the same value as engineered fields because the fields are constantly having problems managing turf cover, they are requiring more resources and they need to be over-seeded constantly. 3. Several issues affect current and future field capacity in Southborough including the following: • Scheduling: There is a lack of in-depth understanding of scheduling of the fields. Organizations block time as a whole instead of by team, by age group, by practice or by game. The scheduling is not overlaid with current maintenance practices. • The town does not have an adopted policy that supports the level of play and design field maintenance conditions by field type • Field size and level of service are the biggest culprits that we heard from the small groups. Currently more than three quarters of the fields in Southborough (88%) of the base fields are multi-use fields by means of overlay fields (i.e. Soccer field using a Softball outfield). This effectively reduces the capacity of each base field to support its primary sport by having to share time and space with another sport. The only full size facility that can accommodate multiple full size sports is 911 Field and it is in need of full replacement and its true potential is not realized without athletic lighting because the hours are limited. • Another concern becomes proximity of fields making for unsafe play. Where fields overlap or are in close proximity they lack the appropriate safety protection fences or netting to conduct practices side by side simultaneously. This creates further complications with the field system and is not understood by the current scheduling practices. • There is tremendous demand for fields by the most active age group (10-18) and there is an extremely low inventory. Because this age group is under served ,organizations have begun to seek other means to provide safe and quality facilities to its users, outside the town resources. 4. Future Needs: • Additional capacity is required to meet demand. There was no exploration of property acquisition or availability as part of this master plan .Other alternatives were recommended to provide a more enjoyable safe experience. Those recommendations include converting fields to synthetic turf, or upgrading infrastructure of non-engineered fields to industry standards. Relocating and reorganizing fields to better accommodate larger field sizes, more users groups and safer surfaces. Lighting increases capacity without the need to purchase additional space. See tables on pages 103-108. The town specifically lacks appropriate full size multipurpose fields for the 10-18+yr old age group and demand shows approximately 2-3 additional full size fields are needed to support current and future programming. • Scheduling software • Life cyle management plans. These should include maintenance and replacement of fields and surfaces as well as amenities such as equipment, lighting, bleachers and buildings. . . i upgrading infrastructure of non-engineered fields to industry sta ards, reloc ting and reorganizing fields to bett r acc mmod te larger field sizes, organi ing r groups and safer surfaces. Lighting also incr ases c pacity without th need to purchase additional space. See tables on pages 103-108. The town i i i t t t f t i .
SOUTHBOROUGH ATHLETIC MASTER PLAN
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