It could have been the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team playing Japan in the World Cup Finals, or maybe it was the goal of updating every park by 2012, that propelled Secaucus to convene a special meeting to vote on improvements to Shetik Field.
On Tuesday, July 19 the Town Council approved an ordinance to resurface Shetik Field with official synthetic turf for soccer.
Shetik Field is located on County Road diagonally across from a Dunkin’ Donuts.
The council also passed a resolution awarding the contract for the upgrade to The LandTek Group, which was responsible for synthetic construction at the New Meadowlands Stadium.
“The [synthetic turf] will make a significant difference maintaining costs.” – David Drumeler
Lowering maintenance costs
The current grassy field causes “rain-outs,” has rocks, requires reseeding, and needs marking and stripes, according to Town Administrator David Drumeler.
“The [synthetic turf] will make a significant difference maintaining costs,” said Drumeler.
The synthetic turf is meant to emulate natural grass and provide all-weather playability, low maintenance, and unlimited playing time according to The LandTek Group.
The LandTek Group was also responsible for the natural field construction at the Red Bulls Stadium where Secaucus resident John Rooney plays as the central midfielder for the New York Red Bulls reserve team. In the past the New York Red Bulls have co-sponsored summer soccer camps for local youths, working with the Secaucus Soccer Club.
Resurfacing the field will “improve the program 100 percent,” said John Voli, Secaucus director of recreation. The recreational soccer program has almost 500 participants ages 5 to 14 who comprise 30 teams split between separated boys and girls.
“We won’t have any issues with holes in the field, with glass in the field,” said Voli. He said playability will be consistent with the even grass level.
Shetik field gets used every day during the season, which runs 10 to 12 weeks, according to Voli. Recreation also uses the Laurel Hill Park and Kane Stadium synthetic turf fields.
In addition to the new turf, the upgrade will include a Little League and softball overlay, an upgraded basketball court, a new tennis court, a walking track, lights for evening usage, and a new parking lot.
The town anticipates that the resurfacing will be completed before the start of the new soccer season in the fall.
The soccer field serves the town’s recreational programs but the town hopes to get as many different entities as possible to use the field.
Park by park
The Shetik Field improvement is the first part of a three-phase project that will also include installing synthetic turf at Mill Ridge Athletic Field and Buchmuller Park.
“Every single park will be redone over the next two years,” said Mayor Michael Gonnelli in previous discussions about the town’s park renovations.
Almost a year ago the town approved a $2.3 million capital budget to make improvements around town, from repaving roads to purchasing new vehicles to updating the town parks and fields. The town set the goal of redoing most of the municipally-owned parks and playgrounds in Secaucus by the end of 2012.
The Shetik Field improvement is not part of the $2.3 million but represents a new capital upgrade.
The most recent parks to receive upgrades include the playground at Naters Park at Blondel and Koelle and Ivanovski Park located at Charles Street.
Green Acres awarded the town $450,000 in April. Since then, the town waited for the finalization of the grant, sought bids, and had the conceptual for the field designed.
Adriana Rambay Fernández may be reached at email@example.com.