The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 22, 2006


RecCom refines plans for new facilities at Banta-Davis

The Recreation Commission members are formulating a new strategy on how to present their vision for the Banta-Davis land development. At their September 11 meeting they discussed new components to their plan, and also methods to gain public support. In addition they mapped out a list of items that could be cut from their plan to allow smaller development if funds are not available for the whole project.

"We heard we focused too much on the field components and kids," Chair Allen Deary explained, and not on the needs of other Carlisle residents. "There is a need for a gathering place," he said, which can be used as an outdoor classroom, and in case of bad weather. Besides adding a new pavilion with six picnic tables to the development plan, the commission discussed adding a small bocce field, and expanding walking paths. The engineers from Dewbury Goodkind estimated the pavilion would cost around $40,000 to $50,000. The committee also discussed including design costs for a new recreation building. "We hear a high need for a recreation center from Town Hall residents." They briefly discussed design costs for a pool, but agreed they are "not talking about a pool at this point."

The conversation turned to ways to inform residents of highlights of the plan, and how to present the plan at Town Meeting. In discussing the advantages of Astroturf over natural turf, Deary said they would invite the Conservation Commission (ConsCom) to "explain why Astroturf" is needed. He said the ConCom agrees with using Astroturf because it would eliminate the need for the chemical treatments that natural turf needs. The town would save money in maintenance costs, he added.

Due to having to rebid the project, the members discussed forming a "priority list," noting they expect the cost of construction bids to be 20% higher than previous bids. The goal, Deary explained, would be to reduce the costs by at least $100,000 to $200,000, depending on the new bids. The "cut" list would include building the paths with crushed stone instead of paving, and eliminating the second playing field. They discussed waiting on the conversion of the tennis courts to basketball courts, a savings of approximately $13,000.

"Football is very tough on natural turf," Deary said, coming back to discussing Astroturf. They agreed they would "get bids before coming to the town."

2006 The Carlisle Mosquito