Garden City Community Park multi-use field set to open

14 July 2017

Following a multi-year capital investment program designed to bring fields and facilities to high standards, the newly converted multi-use turf field at Community Park is set to open following some last minute finishes.

The multi-purpose field, as well as Fields 3 and 4, has undergone major renovations as part of Phase I of the Department of Recreation and Parks Strategic Plan. The multi-purpose field will be used for soccer, lacrosse and football, and is set to open shortly.

“Community Park, one of the Village’s flagship recreational facilities, continues to undergo major upgrades with the addition of the lighted, full sized, multisport athletic field,” said Kevin Ocker, chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Cultural and Recreational Affairs. “A hub of activity supporting hundreds of intramural, travel and men’s league baseball games; soccer, football and now lacrosse each year, this premier park now contains the Garden City Pool, Community Tennis Center, four baseball fields, multi-sport field, roller hockey rink, comfort station, platform tennis courts, miniature golf course and clubhouse. Recent investments made over the last seven years to these recreational assets will benefit generations to come as they provide diverse athletic and leisure activities for all ages.”

Fields #3 and #4, completed on time and under budget in the fall of 2016, were the first major project identified in year one of the Strategic Plan. Renovations included synthetic turf infields, new irrigation and new underground drainage systems. The fields were also outfitted with new safety fencing, backstops and dugouts. A full schedule of games christened both fields in September 2016 to rave reviews, which have continued through this year.

“It’s about as good as it can be for any community,” Garden City Athletic Association (GCAA) President Al Vanasco said at a fall ribbon cutting. Fields 3 and 4 are primarily used for GCAA intramural baseball, travel baseball, the Men’s softball league and Men’s adult Baseball. Approximately six to eight GCAA travel teams use Field #3 while 20 to 30 GCAA intramural teams use both fields, along with two dozen softball teams within the Recreation Department’s leagues and 10-12 independent teams. More than 100 games are scheduled to be played on the two fields for the month of July.

The Pool, which opened for its 61st season of “fun in the sun” in June, has seen an uptick in family registrations, welcoming over 350 more individuals to the membership ranks. Facility improvements, which started about six years ago, continued this spring as Village maintenance staff converted the Game Room into an air-conditioned, indoor dining area. A new shaded area by the Adult Pool also debuted, as well as an accessible gate to the Adult Pool area for the mobility impaired. These upgrades followed a complete overhaul of the ladies and men’s shower and restroom facilities last year. A brand new bathroom was also added near the Adult Pool, as well as a new First Aid Room and larger Family Bathroom to now include a baby changing table and shower area. These improvements are all aimed at improving both the membership value and experience.

The converted soccer field is now a turf field lined for multiple sports. Sports groups planning to use the new turf field for practices and games in the upcoming year include Garden City Centennial Soccer, GCAA Thunder Football, Garden City Rams Girls’ Lacrosse and Garden City Youth Boys’ Lacrosse. It is anticipated that anywhere between 12 and 20 games will be played during the weekends during the spring and fall seasons, with each group receiving dedicated practice time during the week nights. The field is now fully lighted with permanent stadium lighting.

“We hope our residents will agree that these upgrades at Community Park really make the facility second to none,’ Mayor Brian Daughney said. “My son plays travel baseball and last week the coaches and parents from another team outside Garden City all commented about how spectacular Fields #3 and #4 and the multi-purpose field were compared to other venues.”

Mayor Daughney, added, “The present Board members and our former Board member Richard Silver put in a lot of work to get these renovations done and to get in place a funding mechanism. We knew they were long overdue for renovation and we will continue our work.”

The current five-year capital plan includes a complete renovation of Field 2, which is expected to be done in 2018. According to the Mayor, the Board is considering, and will discuss at the July 20 Trustees meeting, replacing the dirt infield at Field 1 this fall and adding irrigation.