New Canaan Athletic Foundation

Recent Articles

High Marks for New Turf Fields at NCHS, Despite Delay in Lighting

Despite a yet-unresolved delay that’s cut down on practice hours, those making use of the newly laid turf fields in their inaugural spring at New Canaan High School are giving high marks for a facility that’s more weather-resistant, flexible and consistent with those of area towns. Though the lights at the new Water Tower turf fields are not yet powered due to recent storms, athletes, coaches and officials from the nonprofit organizations that run youth sports here say the fields—part of a an estimated $5.8 million project that also includes the new track at NCHS, a public-private partnership between the town and New Canaan Athletic Foundation—already are paying dividends. “The new turf is great because there is more space to play when it rains,” fourth-grade lacrosse and soccer player Emma Barnard said. “That’s a good thing.”

The track and fields project has been “a long time coming,” Recreation Director Steve Benko said. “When we’re finished, we’ll have a spectacular facility. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

‘We Are Very Close To Reaping the Rewards’: New Turf Fields, Track at New Canaan High School Near Completion

The sub-surface work for the new turf fields at New Canaan High School was completed last month and lighting towers and fencing there have been installed, according to the volunteer committee that’s overseeing the widely anticipated projects. Turf and fill for both fields—a full-size field and a smaller one—will be installed once daytime temperatures consistently reach 45 degrees and that installation will take about three weeks to finish, according to a information supplied by the Town Fields Building Committee. According to NCHS Athletic Director Jay Egan, an ex officio member of the committee, next week’s warm temperatures are expected to deliver a window for the installation. “Thanks to the town’s contribution and the private donations, as we kick off the spring season, we are going to have some tremendous fields and a track complex for our athletes to use, and for the youth-level lacrosse and soccer players, and so I think it’s really exciting,” Egan said. “We are on the verge of having a complex that will be second to none as far as this area is concerned.” Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

Town Officials to Committee Steering NCHS Fields Project: ‘It’s Like We Ordered a Rolls Royce and We Ended Up with a Toyota’

A building contractor of 30 years experience who sits on the town’s legislative body said last week that he sees two major signs that spelled failure on recently disclosed cost overruns for a widely anticipated sports fields building project at New Canaan High School. According to Town Council member Joe Paladino, it’s never advantageous to be under a “tight time crunch” with respect to deadlines in a large project. “It’s not a great idea to have gun against your head and you folks truly did because you are under a time crunch, and there’s no way out of it,” Paladino told the chairman and secretary of the town-appointed committee that’s overseeing the turf fields and track project at the high school, now estimated to cost $5.8 million. “When your architect says he is ‘shocked’ by the number and your committee is ‘shocked’ by the number you are getting from your contractor, how do you know you got the right number?” Paladino told Bob Spangler and Mike Benevento of the Fields Building Committee during a meeting of the council’s Land Use and Recreation Subcommittee, held Sept. 20 at Town Hall. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

‘We Feel a Bit Bamboozled’: Unhappy Finance Board Votes To Commit $3.9 Million for NCHS Fields Projects; Figure Is Up $800,000 Since April

Decrying a lack of transparency, finance officials on Tuesday night still approved a revisited bonding package of $3.9 million for fields upgrades now underway at New Canaan High School—$800,000 more in town funds than the project had been estimated to cost just five months ago. While praising the volunteer New Canaan Athletic Foundation for its fundraising, members of the Board of Finance also voiced concerns that a town-appointed committee that includes NCAF members—ostensibly a group charged with helping to oversee the fields projects—this summer withheld critical information about a higher-than-expected bid for the work as well as other costs that drove up the price tag. Instead of disclosing in late June to town funding bodies that some costs related to the fields projects had come in far higher than expected, committee members decided to change parts of the agreed-upon project on their own, spending public money in ways not vetted before the Board of Finance or Town Council, officials said. Representatives of that committee—namely, Bob Spangler and Mike Benevento (it also includes Amy Bennett, Scott Werneburg and Nick Williams)—defended their decision by saying it was the best way to ensure the fields would be completed on time. They focused on getting the baseline fields and track work done and, as a result, the existing Water Tower turf field, re-graded and with a costly repair to its former slope, will be ready by the end of this month, while the second turf field and track will be done by mid-November, Spangler said. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Turf Fields, Track Construction Projects at NCHS Near Fall Completion Dates

A rebuilt turf field next to the Waveny water towers will be completed by the end of next month, officials say, while a new turf field next to it and renovated New Canaan High School track will be ready by mid-November. The widely anticipated, three-part project is a joint effort of the town and New Canaan Athletic Foundation, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that launched last summer and rapidly raised enough money to re-turf Dunning Field. Youth sports programs are working now with the town to ensure that each one has adequate field space for this fall, NCAF officials said. Since early July, the playing fields at NCHS have been transformed into an active construction site as the large-scale project got underway. (Updates can be tracked here, on the NCAF’s Facebook page.)

So far, the town has committed $3.1 million through bonding to the turf fields and track while the NCAF has raised $1,750,000. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , ,