(Image courtesy City of Boston)
Much-needed improvements to Roberts Field in Dorchester are closer to becoming reality after the Boston Parks and Recreation Department held its final community meeting about the plans Thursday night.
At the lightly attended meeting at Tech Boston Academy, Cathy Baker-Eclipse, a project manager with the Parks Department, laid out the project’s timeline and plans for the $2.8 million set aside by the city in its FY 2013 budget for the park.
Plans are still preliminary, but drafts created by CDM Smith, a consultant for the city, propose completely redoing the football and baseball fields, converting the grass to artificial turf, improving drainage, and adding seating for spectators.
Nearly 215,000 square-feet of artificial turf will be installed for football, baseball, softball, soccer, and cricket fields, along with aluminum benches parallel to Wentworth Terrace for spectators at football games and the removal and replacement of the concrete stands by the southern baseball diamond.
Small improvements will also be made at entrances of the field to improve accessibility for wheelchairs, along with other minor improvements to pathways and fencing.
Thursday’s meeting attracted four residents, including a representative from Tech Boston.
The only concern raised by residents was motorbikes riding on the field.
Baker-Eclipse said signs will be posted clearly informing users that motorized vehicles are not allowed on the field, but she said it will be hard to restrict their access because to do so wheelchair access would also be restricted.
Overall, residents at Thursday’s meeting and a meeting in March were receptive to the improvements to the park.
In the fall the Parks Department will send out a request for bids by a contractor and expect to break ground by March of next year, with all work expected to be completed by fall of 2013.