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."