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.
The foundation is looking to raise another $350,000 for lighting at the second turf field and track (see donation information here—the NCAF has a fund established with the New Canaan Community Foundation).
“Residents of all ages are encouraged to participate by donating to this fundraising effort to give back to their community and help sustain New Canaan’s rich history of outstanding athletic programs,” NCAF officials told NewCanaanite.com.
Taking on all three projects simultaneously is saving about $150,000, officials said.
“We were thrilled that we could launch [the] projects this summer,” Mike Benevento, chairman of the New Canaan Athletic Foundation, said in a press release.
The Town Council in April approved $3.1 million in bonding for the projects, most of that contingent on the NCAF raising its share of the funds (it has, the additional fundraising needed for lighting had been expected).
Also in April and separate from what’s happening at NCHS, the Town Council approved $500,000 in bonding toward an overall estimated $950,000 project for the little league baseball fields at Mead Park—funds to be released when New Canaan Baseball raises the balance of the cost.
The NCAF was founded with a long-term vision to provide support for New Canaan Athletics. Its initial focus has been a series of capital projects to renovate and transform the NCHS athletics complex for the benefit of all local youth sports organizations, the high school athletics program and the community at large.
“The NCAF’s second goal is to build an endowment fund that will both support New Canaan athletics and continue the public-private partnership that has produced such excellent early results,” officials said. “That endowment will serve as the capital base to replace the new fields at the end of their useful life and to further develop the facilities that benefit all town of New Canaan residents.”