Friday, October 6, 2006
Recreation Commission explains Banta-Davis Phase II project
Recreation Commission Chair Allen Deary spoke recently with the Mosquito about the proposal to expand the recreation facilities on the Banta-Davis Land on Bedford Road:
Q: How has the plan changed since last spring (when voters at Town Meeting approved additional playing fields, but the subsequent vote at the Town Election fell 11 votes short )?
A: There are two main changes. First, is the addition of a 22 x 42-foot wooden pavilion. Second, is the addition of funds for conceptual design work for a recreation/community center. Deary said that Carlisle has a need for both Council on Aging and children's after-school program space.
Q: How much will the project cost? A:There will be two Articles presented at Town Meeting on October 30. The first will cover the basic plan to create three new grass playing fields, convert the town's existing two tennis courts to basketball courts, create four new tennis courts, parking and pathways for $1,594,800. New fields will include one multi-purpose field and two Little League fields. The second motion will decide whether to upgrade the new multi-purpose field with the addition of artificial turf for an additonal $578,600. The numbers are based on last springs bids, with additional design and pavilion construction costs.
Q: When will the project be rebid?
A: Rebids will be sought after Town Meeting and the election November 7. Deary said that bids for projects like this are often lower in the fall, because companies are interested in lining up work for the coming season.
Q: When will the project be finished?
A: If artificial turf is approved, it should be ready to use during the spring or early summer of 2007. Natural fields will take longer, and Deary expects them to be ready sometime in 2008. Conversion of the old tennis courts into basketball courts and creation of paved parking and pathways at Banta-Davis will all be available in early 2007, he said.
Q: Who maintains the playing fields at Spalding and Banta-Davis — the school, the RecCom or the DPW?
A: The RecCom contracts out for field maintenance, using a combination of donations and money from the town budget.
Q: Do program fees help pay for field maintenance?
A: Program fees are designed to cover the cost of delivering the programs, and are spent to pay for instructions and class supplies.
Q: Are there any plans to use private donations or Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds to help pay for Banta-Davis Phase II?
A: Private donations of $70,000 have been committed to the project, and $35,000 of that has already been spent on design work. The RecCom will continue to accept gifts, but has not initiated a special fund drive for the project. Because the Banta-Davis Land is controlled partly by the school, Deary said that CPA funds cannot be used.
Q: What do you think Carlisle's recreation program will be like in ten years?
A: Banta-Davis Land can become more than just a collection of playing fields, but rather a "real park" and a popular destination for the community. "I see it as a significant asset for the town."
© 2006 The