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Renovations begin at Boston English High athletic fields

Posted by Ryan Butler  June 20, 2013 04:28 PM

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Construction began at Boston English High's athletic fields last week. The fields are expected to be completed in time for football practices in late August. (Justin A. Rice / For the Globe)

Construction began last week on Boston English's athletic fields, which were deemed unplayable for interscholastic sports last fall.

Completion is expected by the time football practice begins the week of Aug. 19, according to Boston Public Schools athletic director Ken Still.

“We’ve been told it’s supposed to be done by the fall, in time for practices,” Still said.

The turf field, put in by the city in 2002, is a public park that is also used for youth and adult soccer leagues, Ultimate Frisbee, flag football, and semipro football. Because of overuse, it was deemed unsafe for high school games last September, forcing English to play home games elsewhere.

“The turf field means no more slips or slides for the kids while playing,” Still said. “Less dangerous for them, too. Also, there’s less distractions from officials worrying about not being able to play because of weather. It also means an extra field. Any extra turf field is important.”

Boston Parks and Recreations commissioner Toni Pollak said the project is expected to cost less than originally expected. The original estimate was $1.5 million last fall, Pollak said, but the project will come in at $1.171 million.

“It’s really helpful to have a new multipurpose field,” Pollak said.

She said the batter’s box on the baseball field will be relocated to make the field larger.

Today’s turf fields, added Pollak, are built better than they were 10 years ago.

“It was our first generation of infield turf, and we learned a lot in regards to wear and tear,” she said. “The new mound for the baseball field helps with longevity. We came a long way in 10 years.”

Ryan M. Butler can be reached at butler.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @butler_globe.

About Boston Public Schools Sports Blog

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Several reporters, editors and correspondents contribute updates, news and features to the BPS Sports Blog:
  • Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
  • Ryan Butler -- A Rhode Island native and avid Boston sports fan, Butler played basketball, baseball and football throughout his time in Barrington Public Schools. Now currently in his middler year at Northeastern University, he joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at butler.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.
Also expect updates from Boston.com High School sports editor Zuri Berry and the Globe staff.