Work is well underway on the first phase of field drainage improvements at the Center Playfields.
With massive dirt mounds and machinery doing work on the grounds where Lexington’s young athletes practice and compete, the playing fields look the part of the battlefield metaphors sometimes used in sports.
The work, which was bid out this spring and should conclude before winter, should “address a real drainage problem and is going to implement draining improvements on baseball, multipurpose and varsity softball fields, said Recreation Director Karen Simmons.
According to the contract announcement the Recreation Department posted online this spring, the work includes “stripping, amending and re-spreading the existing topsoil; re-grading the existing site; installation of new subsurface drainage infrastructure and renovation to the softball and baseball infield areas to improve drainage.” The contract was awarded to Heimlich Landscaping & Construction of Woburn.
“We expect substantial completion will be before winter,” said Simmons. “It’s our goal to have the fields playable by the end of April, beginning of May.”
Phase two of the drainage improvements will focus on the varsity football field.
Last week, David Pinsonneault, director of operations for the Department of Public Works, told the Board of Selectmen the architects advised that installing an infilled synthetic turf surface at the football field and adjacent baseball field would be less than ideal, because the poor subsoil condition increases the chances of poor field settlement and ongoing issues.
“I think that that particular site, and the nature of the field, with sub-base and drainage, for this site would be problematic,” Pinsonnealut said during the Sept. 12 meeting. “What we don’t want to do is do that kind of expenditure and run into problems year after year with the site.”