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Penders Expected to Unveil Turf Field Mid-October

The $1.2 million project at the home of Stratford High School football will add a small soccer field.

In about 10 weeks, the current expanse of dirt, backhoes and bulldozers at Penders Field will yield a new artificial turf field much like the one at , according to a town official.

Councilman Paul Hoydick (R-10) said the $1.2 million project -- paid for with about $400,000 in grant money and $800,000 in capital improvement funds -- has an estimated completion date of mid-October.

Hoydick said the town hired the same contractor that did the resurfacing at Bunnell about eight years ago, a Stratford-based company called Dalling Construction. The turf at Penders, where plays its football games, will be an updated version of the turf at Bunnell, he said.

"The new turf fields are unbelievable -- it's like playing on natural grass," said the councilman.

The renovated Penders Field, in addition to space for football and baseball, will house a small soccer field as part of the upgrade. Several different sports teams will be able to use the area for practice and games.

"The field takes such a beating," Hoydick said. "Years ago it was just a football field; now it's used for everything."

Last September, some town officials complained that the surface at Penders Field was , and one end zone higher than the other. Hoydick said artificial turf can handle a larger workload and erase these potential problems.

At a Town Council meeting last month, Matt Catalano (R-3) asked about sunken dugouts at the baseball field. "I'd like to see [sunken] dugouts return to that field, I don't know if that's something we can include," he said.

Hoydick said a switch from above-ground dugouts to sunken dugouts is a possibility "if we can save some money in certain spots."

Christine Pelfrey August 09, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Higher workload? What about the neighbors whose homes actually border the field? We already have the lights, noise, and traffic from all the games. There was no written notification sent to us regarding any kind of hearing about turf or about adding more 'workload'. Funny, they sent out a letter registered mail about a hearing for a possible batting cage (that was scratched) but nothing about this. Kind of reminds me of when the town notified people blocks away about the lights but not a single one of us whose homes border the field. And unlike Bunnell, these houses are 3 feet from the field. There's no buffer zone. There's no parking lot. It's bedlam and chaos every time there's a home game and now we're going to add more? I'm sure that the Town of Stratford, recognizing that this creates a devaluation of property values, will offer some kind of tax break (SARCASM!!)
Helene E. Logan August 09, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Unfortunately that's the price any of us has to pay if we live near a field or the airport, or off a busy main road, etc. That's the same in any town or city.
Resident August 09, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Helene we'll move the field to your neighborhood and see if you like the noise, garbage, rude people, etc. I moved into my home prior to these changes. There was only no field house and there were no parking signs all the way up the road on one side. I guess tuff luck for me! When is the cleaning crew coming to my home to clean out the dust and dirt this is causing. We don't need new sports fields for a few individuals from a school we need funds to produce better grades and opportunities for all.
Helene E. Logan August 09, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Actually I do live in this neighborhood. And I happen to dislike football, too...i'm certainly not defending this waste of money. I was simply making an observation. I agree that money should be spent on better educating kids, believe me. And it would be nice if their parents taught them to stop littering, to stop trashing the park and stop feeding the idiot geese around Longbrook, but they're as clueless as their offspring. The litter is the result of poor parenting. The poor grades are also a result of poor parenting. When do we address root cause in this town...or this country?
Jason Bagley (Editor) August 09, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Jim, Where are you getting the $2 million figure?
Mike Reynolds August 09, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Christine, stop complaining. Unless you lived in your house before the field was built you had a choice not to move there. Its the same argument with the Lordship people over the airport. I live near the field and except for 5 Fridays in the fall, every other Thanksgiving, and 1 night in May its not bedlam and chaos. I don't think your argument of devaluing property holds water. Longbrook Park adds quite a bit of value to the neighborhood.
Jim Ravis August 09, 2012 at 05:56 PM
It came out of the Town Counsel Meeting Minutes. I think it was July they approved it. http://www.townofstratford.com/Upload/147/10434/10440/2012-07-09%20Minutes.pdf Refer to Section 9.1 - AWARD OF PENDERS FIELD CONTRACT
Mike Reynolds August 09, 2012 at 05:59 PM
This is why I hate living in Stratford so much. The number one pastime in Stratford is complaining. Improve the airport, complain. Improve the high school fields, complain. Residents should be happy any improvements are made in this town because let's face it, there isn't a lot that Stratford has to offer.
Baseball Mom August 09, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Did the town pay for it? Bunnell's parents had to do fundraisers for the money to do theirs. The same way the fieldhouse got built. This past season the Stratford High School baseball field was pristene and the Stratford High team said they do not have to work on it at all the town does it. Bunnell's field has tracks from a town truck through center field and it has not been touch by the town in 2 years other then to mow the grass. The parents did the work before that until the town workers filed a greivence agaist them.
Thomas Dewey August 09, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Stop spending money. Stop spending money. Stop spending money. Create jobs. Create jobs. Create jobs. Stop spending money. Please, stop spending money. Stop taking grants for things like this. Please, stop taking grants for things such as this. I love living in Stratford. The one garbage pick-up a week makes for such good times—pleasant smells pervade. The roads remind me of the surface of the moon. I love taking walks here; cement, asphalt, roadway, cracks, back to cement, overgrown weeds, to cement, then back to old asphalt, then back into the road that used to be sidewalk but is now the breakdown lane or something. I'm not complaining. What I'd really like is to get a piece of that Make Your Day Program—I’d like to be conditioned so that my thoughts mean nothing and the collective process means everything. I’d like to be conditioned to think that if someone slanders me, lies about something I have done because they don’t like me, all they have to do is tell someone of authority and I am disciplined without having the benefit of my BIG MOUTH to defend myself BEFORE BEING DISCIPLINED. I’d like to be reconditioned to believe that a failure of a student or a neighbor or even a politician is just as good as one that succeeds, as long as they’re “trying their hardest.” 100’s for everyone. Maybe they should be closing the gaps in the roads before they begin building new sports complexes.
Thomas Dewey August 09, 2012 at 07:38 PM
As for Stratford High, my hat goes off to the dedicated students and employees of that building. I recently spent a few hours walking the grounds and watching an event in the gym. With all of the overgrowth of broadleaf and the lack of even basic care and imagination in its additional exterior, which is more parking lot than anything else, I felt like I was escaping when I left. If you ask me, I have always believed that the NEW SPORTS COMPLEX craze that districts have gone on nationwide has been a fraud. And all of this wastefulness is for what? The student athletes will play on a great field, their parents’ taxes will be raised to the point where they either sell or lose their home, and the student athlete will have to transfer. How ironic it is that the very institution that is instructed locally in building responsible citizens drops the proverbial ball (athletic pun intended) by teaching their students that when you don’t have it, you still spend and buy the things you want. Isn’t that area near water, a lake or something? I’m amazed that anything involving recycled tires could be built near water these days?
Christine Pelfrey August 09, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Mike I moved in back in 1984. There were no lights and no night games. You live NEAR the field but I border it. The town has a horrible reputation for maintaining or policing the field. It falls on the neighbors to keep groups of kids off the field. It took 24 years for the town to replace the fence that was badly damaged during Hurricane Gloria. Still waiting for them to come get the sawed off fence poles out of the ground on my side of the fence. They moved the fence in six inches and left the sawed off support poles in our yards. Does great things for a lawnmower. God forbid some kid decides to try and jump the fence and falls on one. I expect huge traffic for graduation and Thanksgiving Day games. But every Friday night home game it's holy hell to get out of my own neighborhood and staying home is pointless because we can't hear a television. What happens when there's a medical emergency? Oh wait that's already happened. The poor man died because the ambulance couldn't get through the Glendale -Charlton corner due to the parked cars. And they want more events? It's not like there aren't other fields at Short Beach that can be used.
Resident August 09, 2012 at 08:44 PM
I have a few questions about Penders field new resurfacing? Where has the top layer of soil gone from the field and what if any are the asbestos concerns? Anybody know?
Christine Pelfrey August 09, 2012 at 09:05 PM
And Resident - don't forget the months of flooding by the fieldhouse because the drainage pipes were never connected to the rest of the system. That only got fixed after it flooded how many basements? The town was responsible for the damages on that one.
k-9 lover August 09, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Mike have you forgotten ? Stratford offers "more " from forest to shore. Yea right. .
Theresa August 09, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Unfortunately Stratford High School, because of it's location, has had to use this field for years and do not have the luxury of massive surrounding fields as does Bunnell. Back when Bunnell got astroturf (and by the way, the fundraisers didn't pay for all of it being built) I thought it was a waste of money. I still do. By the way, our property and sewer taxes went up again. What is stopping businesses from building in Stratford? High property taxes. And the residents get a turf field. Wow. Glad I'm paying more for my poop chute to the sidewalk.
David Durgy August 09, 2012 at 11:12 PM
1.9 million in Stratford but a NCAA Division 1 school is doing the same thing for almost half: http://azstarnet.com/sports/football/college/wildcats/arizona-football-arizona-stadium-likely-to-get-turf-in/article_7a45f9c4-8f02-5946-a576-abeb05c844bd.html
Jim Ravis August 10, 2012 at 12:32 AM
Ahhhhh yes... I remember that sweet smell coming from Raybestos in the morning. And the fogger trucks running around the Longbrook Park neighborhood before an event at the park. I remember playing on the dirt piles that were piled up there. Not sure where that dirt came from.
Thomas Dewey August 10, 2012 at 02:38 AM
But the people whoe believe that their time in office is a doorway into the other side of life, just sit up there and SPEND, SPEND, SPEND.
CB August 10, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Oh My God!!!! First off if you dont like living near a field that has been used for decades by Stratford High School then move please....You will SAVE the town aggravation from listening to this whining. Second its not every Friday night, its only 5 Fridays out of the fall and a few week night games. GOD FORBID if the kids get a nice field to play on and one that their parents are not going to spend thousands of dollars on surgeries and the kid has to suffer because of injuries which occured when the field was in terrible shape (believe me I know). I remember when I was in Stratford High School and us student athletes fought for those lights and listening to the neighbors complain that the lights are gunna distract me from looking at the stars when in all reality all you looked at was your TV.....Poor you that dust (which no doubt is coming from the work on the field but also the road ways and pollen) you have get a swifter and clean up (someone start complaining to mother nature). OK OK OK I have a idea why dont we get rid of all the sports and music programs and so on and so forth just so you dont have to deal with noise or kids (which kids are kids) or grant money, or anything for that matter.....Or better yet zip it....its happening they are building the field which I feel has been long over due..... Now lets hope we can have amazing winning seasons to come.
Crazy26 August 11, 2012 at 01:14 AM
CB- That is hilarious!! Love it...really this hesitation from others is because they feel they didnt get a "voice" in the matter...because if they are rea
Crazy26 August 11, 2012 at 01:23 AM
sorry lost the rest of my very importnt comment!!! So anyways...im just going to say...if the lights bother you, plant a tree, hey, you know what Plant two! If this "noise" you speak of is the sound of children cheering, having fun, playing and taking part in hometowm, All American past-times like High School Sports and their parent and friends gathering to support and cheer them on then hopefully you just missed a few doses of your meds...otherwise, I know a great realtor who can sell your home and ship you off to West Cornwall, CT where there are currently only 150 kids in the whole elementary school and the high school is 45 minutes away :)
Gabriel Kotter August 11, 2012 at 02:29 AM
I think they were thinking about using that soil to build a new charter school someplace. I'm not sure though, I may be thinking of the soil they scraped out from the southend of Stamford. One day its dirty and the next day its clean-- like magic. One side of the table says nine, but the other side says six. Go figure. Dan says the globe is warmig and ruining the Sound. Our energy rates are out of this world but the BIG BOYS get to fire rockets into space on tax payers' dimes whenever they need a satalite installed.
Rich August 11, 2012 at 01:42 PM
When I saw they were rebuilding the field at Penders I thought where is the money coming from? They could give it to education,then I saw the CMT scores and decided it would be throwing money away. Of course Former supt Cornish got a nice pension!! Then I read the newspaper and saw another homicide in Bpt and thought Stratford is becoming an extension of Bpt,maybe we should use the money to prevent this from happening!! Rich
k-9 lover August 12, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Stfd is becoming an extension? Where have you been? I grew up in the north end, and has gotten pretty dark up there in the last twenty years.
David Durgy August 13, 2012 at 12:29 AM
k-9 lover 10:02 am on Sunday, August 12, 2012 Stfd is becoming an extension? Where have you been? I grew up in the north end, and has gotten pretty dark up there in the last twenty years. Seriously dude?
Resident August 13, 2012 at 06:38 PM
CB Get a grip. You have not idea what it's like here. I was here before! This is a residential neighborhood with almost no parking available. This is another example of Stratford spending money on a few! Why are we spending millions on 5 nights a year for a few people when the entire Stratford school system if failing. I also loved the flooded field when it rained the other day. Also, does anyone know what the cost of upkeep on this will be?
Tom August 13, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Now all Stratford has to do is UNVEIL the "ultimate male coach" that will go along with the field. You always know your about to take it in the shooter when politicians and the print media the word "unveil" when speaking about a public works project.
k-9 lover August 17, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Oh im serious.
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