The 2011 Annual Town Meeting appropriated $45,000 for the assessment and planned design of two athletic fields northeast of the Middle School. An amendment requiring an assessment of the feasibility of constructing leaching area beneath the athletic fields was attached to the money appropriation. Funding will be used for site assessment issues and field design and specifications sufficiently detailed to bid the project so construction cost can be accurately estimated for appropriation at the 2012 Annual Town Meeting (with Community Preservation Act funds as a
potential source for the construction of the athletic fields and bonding for the leaching area if determined to be feasible). Tighe & Bond, the town’s on-call engineering firm, has been unanimously chosen by the Dudley Area Advisory Committee to conduct the feasibility study of four potential uses or combination of uses for the town-owned land north and west of the Middle School site off Main Street. Tighe & Bond has been retained so any economies of scale in the septic and wastewater treatment assessment of the two projects can be realized.
Based on staff input, public forum comments, and other citizen feedback, we developed a list of potential issues to be studied as part of an overall site assessment:
- Potential wetlands, designation of vernal pools, and possible habitat for endangered species
- Anticipated increase in traffic and use of street parking on Keith and Joyce Roads during evening and weekend athletic events
- Potential ledge and soil types that impact stormwater runoff from the fields
- Impact of use of fertilizers and weed control methods on groundwater in area
- Use of wooded are identified as preferred area for athletic fields for science instruction (if so, availability of comparable alternative land)
- Adequacy of buffer between fields and abutting homes (trees, fencing, etc.)
- Potential for historical artifacts to be uncovered during excavation for field
- Irrigation system installation and water source
- Available alternate site for fields at the Middle School or potential future use of the current Highway and Parks maintenance garage
To the extent possible, staff and community officials desire to mitigate issues that negatively impact the neighboring properties and the education and athletic program in designing the athletic fields. The study will determine whether the fields can be built or whether site constraints will limit us to a single field or no fields. Once it is determined whether fields can be built as proposed, a design consultant will be retained to complete that phase through bidding and anticipated 2012 Annual Town Meeting requests for project financing.
Additional information regarding the project is listed below.